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What constitutes mail fraud?

If you are facing charges of mail fraud in Georgia, it is important you understand the seriousness of the crime. A conviction can result in harsh penalties such as fines and/or jail time, so it is imperative you get legal help right away. Because mail fraud is so broad, there may be some confusion, so it is good to take a look at what constitutes this type of fraud. 

According to FindLaw, mail fraud occurs when someone uses the postal system to send or receive documents or other correspondence that relates to fraudulent activity such as selling counterfeit items or conning others out of money. This fraud becomes a federal offense when the mail crosses from one state to another, and certain circumstances may result in up to 30 years in prison and/or up to $1 million in fines.

The United States Postal Inspection Service gives numerous examples of mail fraud. They fall into general categories such as:

  • Financial 
  • Employment
  • Sweepstakes and Lottery
  • Fraud Against Seniors
  • Telemarketing

Examples of financial mail fraud are calling a 900 number and receiving nothing in return, fake credit card offers, phony charity appeals and Ponzi investment schemes. On the employment front, you can face fraud charges if you advertise work-at-home schemes, pay someone to recruit distributers for a pyramid scheme or post a phony job opportunity. Other fraud examples include fake vacation giveaways, deceiving older adults out of their savings, requesting funds for prison pen pals, telemarketing schemes, chain letters asking for money and taking advantage of those who have missing loved ones.


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