Check Fraud, Mail, and the Law

Dec 7, 2018
Check Fraud, Mail, and the Law

For many people, the prospect of a "get-rich-quick" scheme, or other such "opportunity," may cloud sound judgment and lead them to fall victim to one of the many different types of check fraud scams that are still out there -- seeming to creep back up like stubborn weeds. However, the perpetrators of these scams, especially when using the U.S. mail as an unwitting participant, are playing a high-stakes criminal game that can result in hefty fines and decades of jail time.

We take fraud very seriously at Checkeeper. We constantly monitor for fraudulent activity to ensure the security of account holders. To protect yourself from becoming a victim, it is good to both know the laws surrounding check fraud and using the United States Postal Service to deliver any mail that is part of a fraudulent scheme.

Anyone who uses the U.S. mail in an attempt to engage in fraud runs the risk of being prosecuted under the federal mail fraud law.

U.S. Postal Inspectors investigate any crime in which the U.S. Mail is used to further a scheme – whether it originated in the mail, by telephone, or on the Internet. The use of the U.S. Mail is what makes it mail fraud. If evidence of a postal violation exists, Postal Inspectors may seek prosecutive or administrative action against the violator.

You don't have to personally mail your letter to be convicted of mail fraud. Federal law makes it a crime anytime someone “used or caused another to use” the USPS or another carrier in a fraud attempt.

Further, mail fraud occurs whenever a person attempts to defraud someone else by using the mail, meaning you don't actually have to succeed in defrauding someone else to be found guilty.

Additionally, if you use the mail in support of any fraud scheme, the mailings you send do not necessarily have to contain any falsehoods. If, for example, you send a letter to someone that contains correct information, but do so in order to follow up on an attempt or as part of a general plan to defraud, this too is mail fraud.

Other carriers are included

While mail fraud crimes often involve the use of the United States Postal Service, or USPS, you can also commit the crime when you use any interstate carrier, such as FedEx, UPS. Mail fraud crimes apply to these businesses because the carriers cross state lines when they perform their services.


Mail fraud convictions can result in high fines, long prison sentences, and other penalties.

How to spot a fake check

Infographic courtesy of U.S. Federal Trade Commission 

If you feel you've been victimized in a fraud scheme that involves the U.S. Mail, submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Checkeeper does not tolerate fraud. If you have any questions about fraud or fraud prevention in connection with Checkeeper or its services, please contact us at