Today: 16.07.2018
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14.07.2018

I tried to warn USPS about this counterfeit operation.

Back in 2012, I started a column with this line: “The US Postal Service deserves to go broke.” What bothered me was the fact that enterprising crooks were making counterfeit postage stamps and USPS officials knew it but, incredibly, wouldn’t do anything to stop it. I offered to help stop the crime. Of course, the...
Time: 22:52     Date: 16.05.2018
Last US Business News: I tried to warn USPS about this counterfeit operation. NY Post 24 - US News

What bothered me was the fact that enterprising crooks were making counterfeit postage stamps and USPS officials knew it but, incredibly, wouldn’t do anything to stop it.

I offered to help stop the crime.

Of course, the USPS will never go “broke” — not in the conventional retail sense. They are not going to be hanging “Going Out of Business” signs up in the windows. Ever.

As a federal agency, the USPS gets as much in subsidies from Uncle Sam as it needs.

But if this were any other business, broke is what the USPS would be. Last week, the USPS said it lost $1.3 billion in the first three months of 2018. That was a massive increase over its previous quarterly loss.

And over the past 11 fiscal years, the post office has lost $65 billion.

President Trump has blamed a bad shipping deal with Amazon for some of those losses. I don’t know whether or not that’s true. But I still know what I knew back in 2012: Crooks are hurting the USPS by producing fakes of its main product — stamps.

Back when I wrote that original story, I called USPS inspectors. I even invited a couple to The Post to discuss the issue and show them fake stamps that an associate of mine had picked up on the street.

The stamps were actually better, in some way, than the real ones. The colors were brighter on the flag stamps, which gave them away as fakes.

Very interesting, the inspectors said. “But what would you like us to do? We can’t stop the mail machines every time we detect a fake,” they said.

And that’s true. But that wasn’t the point.

What I wanted was for them to go with me to the mom-and-pop grocery stores where these fake stamps were being sold — often at a discount — and find out who was producing them. We even had a good idea where some of the production was being done.

The USPS inspectors just weren’t interested.

I know those stamps were only worth 45 cents apiece in 2012 (now 49 cents and going to 50 cents next year), but if millions of fakes are being printed, the numbers really add up.

Besides, there’s no telling what else is being counterfeited. And there’s no telling the size of the scam because the USPS didn’t care enough to investigate.

Are three people counterfeiting stamps or 300? Is the USPS losing $1,000 in revenue or $100 million? Until the post office takes its responsibilities seriously, we’ll never know.

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