(PatriotWise.com) — In an op-ed at Fox News, Texas Public Policy Foundation Vice President Chuck DeVore writes that the current financial struggles of the US Postal Service are being compounded by the surge in counterfeit postage made in China.
Chinese-made Forever stamps are marketed online via paid ads and sell for as little as 7.7 cents, 88 percent lower than the current USPS price of 63 cents.
According to DeVore, one counterfeiter boasts that the fake stamps use anti-counterfeiting detection ink that makes the fake stamps look like official USPS postage under UV light.
In a February press release, the USPS warned the public about the surge in counterfeit postage stamps and announced that it was proposing changes to regulations on handling mail to allow it to treat postal items bearing counterfeit stamps as abandoned mail, which would subject the items to opening and destruction.
The new USPS policy went into effect last Sunday.
But DeVore warns that the new policy could make things harder for the US Postal Service at a time when it is already criticized for not reliably delivering the mail.
DeVore argues that the people who purchased the cheaper stamps unaware that the postage was counterfeit could get hit with late penalties when their bills are treated like abandoned mail and destroyed.
The primary reason consumers may not be aware that the stamps are fake is that sellers of counterfeit postage are found among the sponsored search results on Google, meaning the counterfeiter is paying the tech giant for premium placement in searches.
According to DeVore, searching for “Forever stamp roll 100” brings up dozens of counterfeit offers among the sponsored results, often appearing above the US Postal Service’s own sponsored ad.
The bulk of the USPS’s $78.5 billion in revenue in 2022 came from First-Class mail, the very mail most likely impacted by counterfeit postage. Despite last year’s revenue being $1.5 billion more than the previous year, the USPS’s losses for 2022 were $2 billion higher.
Copyright 2023, PatriotWise.com