Did you know that there are many different types of mail fraud, and that mail fraud is, in fact, considered a federal crime? The United States Department of Justice defines mail fraud as the following:
“There are two elements in mail fraud: (1) having devised or intending to devise a scheme to defraud (or to perform specified fraudulent acts), and (2) use of the mail for the purpose of executing, or attempting to execute, the scheme (or specified fraudulent acts).”
Here are a few examples of these types of federal crimes:
Telemarketing scammers may start with sending letters via mail, asking an individual to call a toll-free number. Once the individual has placed the call, the scammer may convey to the individual a rehearsed sales pitch and fool the individual into giving out personal information and/or bank details.
These types of scams use other peoples’ financial transactions for scamming purposes. A situation that first requires an individual to make a payment for a new credit card, loan advancement, etc. is more than likely a financial scam.
Employment scams deceive individuals who are looking for employment. Scammers market potential job offers—pyramid schemes are one example— to these individuals, and then request personal information and/or bank details from the individuals.
While there are ways one can legitimately win cash money or a prize in a sweepstakes game, some games advertising cash winnings are not legitimate. Any type of situation where a person must first send money to accept their winnings is not a legitimate sweepstakes game, and is more than likely a scam.