One of the most common types of white collar crimes committed in the United States is mail fraud. The term mail fraud refers to any scheme carried out in a fraudulent manner with the intent of depriving another person of their property or services through use of the U.S. Postal Service or any other type of interstate mail carrier. From shipping fraudulent documents to using the mail to send bogus donation requests while posing as a charitable organization, these types of offenses can carry serious consequences and can subject individuals to federal prosecution if their scam should cross state lines.
While the most basic forms of mail fraud occurs when mail never arrives or arrives in a condition different than the one discussed at the time of purchase, scammers have been known to employ a wide variety of creative means to accomplish their mail-related schemes and defraud others.
Most mail fraud schemes can be classified into the following categories:
- Employment fraud: Employment fraud describes any scam which involves offering phony jobs and work-at-home opportunities through the mail. Common employment fraud schemes include distributorship and franchise fraud, pyramid schemes, short-paid postage scams, offering fake postal service jobs, and mystery shopper scams.
- Financial fraud: Any scheme intended to defraud people of their money or other assets can be classified as financial fraud. These types of schemes may include “900” telephone number fraud, Ponzi schemes and other investment fraud, disguising solicitations as invoices, charging money for free government services, and more.
- Fraud against older Americans: Elderly Americans are often targeted by scammers due to their often lack of knowledge of modern technology. Common examples of senior-targeted schemes include offering Social Security refunds in exchange for bank account information, selling lower-priced, harmful counterfeit prescription drugs through the mail, and reverse mortgage scams.
- Sweepstakes and lottery fraud: One of the most simple and well-known ways that scammers use the mail to commit fraud is to send notices to individuals, especially the elderly, informing them that they have won a sweepstakes or lottery and must make some sort of payment or provide their personal information to unlock their prize. Often, victims will be sent a fake check that they can deposit into their bank account, allowing schemers to quickly collect money for fees or taxes on the prize before it bounces.
Charged with Mail Fraud? We Can Help!
If you or a loved one is facing any type of criminal charge related to an alleged mail fraud crime, it is imperative you contact a powerful New York City white collar crime attorney from the Law Offices of Daniel A. Hochheiser as soon as possible to guard your future and freedom from serious consequences. With decades of criminal defense experience, our team understands the arguments and strategies necessary to minimize your chances of conviction.
Call (800) 813-9069 or fill out an online form today to schedule your free case review.