Fact Check: US Postal Inspection Service Has Warned Of Counterfeit Forever Stamps Sold Online

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: US Postal Inspection Service Has Warned Of Counterfeit Forever Stamps Sold Online Fact Check: US Postal Inspection Service Has Warned Of Counterfeit Forever Stamps Sold Online USPS Warning

Is it possible to purchase real Forever Stamps at deep discounts through online resellers? No, that's not true: The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the federal law enforcement agency of the United States Postal Service, has issued a warning about the escalating problem of counterfeit stamps. USPIS warns that third-party wholesalers offer bulk quantities of stamps at discounts from 20 to 50 percent their face value and this is a tell-tale sign the stamps are bogus. The United States Postal Service never sells discounted stamps. Some "Approved Postal Providers" do offer very small discounts through resale agreements with the Postal Service.

The warning from the USPIS regarding counterfeit stamps was last updated on February 23, 2023. One example of a Facebook ad featuring deeply discounted Forever Stamps is a sponsored post that began running on April 2, 2023. The ad was paid for by the Facebook page Ussstamp and linked to the website ussstamp.com. It opened:

🎉Only $16.99! (usually $63)
📨100 pack: Forever Flying Flag Stamps
⏳22 January 2023: Post Office raises stamp price to 63 cents!
✅Up to 50% off
✈️Free shipping
👉Get it now before the next price increase!

This is what the ad looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Apr 3 18:05:24 2023 UTC)

The Forever Stamp is a non-denominated first-class stamp that was first sold by the U.S. Postal Service on April 12, 2007, for the price of 41 cents. The idea behind Forever stamps is that the stamps retain their value as postage to mail a 1-ounce first-class letter "forever" -- regardless if the cost to mail a first-class letter changes. The price of a Forever Stamp has changed 13 times since 2007. The most recent price hike, from 60 to 63 cents, went into effect on January 22, 2023. As of this writing, a coil of 100 Forever Stamps from the USPS.com website costs $63.00.

On February 21, 2023, the USPIS published a "Scam Article" under the title, "Counterfeit Stamps," warning consumers, "Don't Get Stuck with Bogus Stamps." The article includes a link to the USPS.com information page about stamps and how to buy them, a link to report crimes to the USPIS.gov website, and a video (embedded below). The article explains:

The number of counterfeit stamps being sold from online platforms has escalated. Scammers peddle fake stamps on social media marketplaces, e-commerce sites via third party vendors, and other websites. Counterfeit stamps are often sold in bulk quantities at a significant discount-anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of their face value. That's a tell-tale sign they're bogus.

Purchasing stamps from a third-party wholesaler or online websites can be unpredictable. You have no way to verify whether they are genuine or not. The Postal Inspection Service recommends purchasing from Approved Postal Providers™. Approved vendors can include legitimate "big box" or warehouse retailers who do provide very small discounts on postage stamps, but this is through resale agreements with the Postal Service.

At the start of this video the USPIS advises consumers to "walk on by" discounts of up to 50 percent on Forever Stamps as they are counterfeit. Lead Stories found many websites with discounts even steeper than that, offering coils of 100 forever stamps from $29.99 to as little as $16.99 -- between 52 and 73 percent less than current price of first-class postage. Lead Stories found similar promotions with coils of 100 stamps priced below $30.00 on Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, and eBay. Sponsored ads also appear with "forever stamp" search results and in the "shopping" listings on Google.com and DuckDuckGo.

In the June 13, 2022, episode 90 of the podcast "Conversations with Philatelists" (that is a stamp collector), philatelist and stamp appraiser Wayne Youngblood spoke on the topic of counterfeit stamps. His presentation included a PowerPoint showing some of the differences between real and counterfeit stamps and he outlined the detection challenges facing the USPIS. At 11:07 minutes into the video Youngblood offered this advice to consumers:

I don't make blanket statements very often, but one that I will make regularly is there really is no such thing as discount Forever Stamps. The Postal Service does not discount its stamps. So if you were offered discount Forever (Stamps), you know dealers have no reason to discount them either at this point because they're always worth first-class. So if you're offered discount Forever Stamps, at this point there's one of two things: 99 percent of the chance that they're counterfeit, but if they're not counterfeit, they're stolen. You're going to want to stay away from them anyway. So a good rule of thumb for anyone is, there is no such thing as a discounted Forever Stamp -- and that's just a good thing to keep in mind.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion