United States law deems any attempt to illegally obtain money or valuable property in which the postal system is employed as mail fraud. This definition covers a broad range of unlawful actions, from non-delivery of paid-for merchandise to solicitations for money disguised as invoices for services already rendered.
Common Types of Mail Fraud
Theft – Perhaps the most straightforward of all mail fraud, mail theft often involves the targeting of envelopes or parcels with the phrase “pay to the order of” visible in the window, an indicator of an enclosed check or money order. Credit cards sent out by banks are also common objects of theft.
Non-Delivery or Misrepresentation of Merchandise – Another basic mail crime, non-delivery is the failure to deliver an item for which the customer has already paid. In other instances, an advertisement will be deliberately misrepresentative, leading the customer to believe he or she is receiving an item of much higher value than that which actually arrives.
Scams – Simply put, a scam is any crime that preys upon a person’s willingness to believe something that sounds too good to be true. These schemes frequently involve elaborate stories with the aim of tricking the reader into providing his or her bank account information. In another well-known type of scam, a person will receive a letter or email promising information that will help him or her “get rich quick” – for a small price.
Fraudulent Organizations – A step more complex than most scams, several organizations have been set up through which donations are sought, frequently in the guise of a charitable religious institute.
Mail fraud in any form can be a serious criminal offense. If you are facing such charges, contact the experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. by calling (408) 296-4100 today.