:: HOW TO FILE FOR MAIL FRAUD ::Are you a victim of online fraud, or think you are a potential victim due to a single person or a company? Well, you have come to the right place to see what you can do to get your item/money back from the "thieves". No matter how much or how small the item is, file for mail fraud. Its not the value of the product but the principle and these thieves should NOT get away with stealing from people!
(Updated 7/10/201 - Updated FAQ)
(Updated 7/10/201 - Updated FAQ)
:: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) ::1. I think I have been ripped off. What should I do?
First, be sure that you have tried to contact them via email or phone/voicemail and gave seller/business sufficient time to respond (5-7 business days). If they never responded or issue is not resolved, go to any of the mail fraud sites listed below to file a complaint. I suggest filing for as many as you can. ALWAYS BE AS NICE AS POSSIBLE. Inform them that you will be taking necessary steps with filing a mail fraud.
2. When should I file for mail fraud?
If you feel the resolution is going no where or you have sent out numerous e-mails regarding your payment being received and/or item being sent and never received the item/e-mail within a 15-20 days from the date you sent the item/payment, send out ONE LAST e-mail informing them that you will take action if they do not respond to your e-mails. If after 2-3 days (after the original 15-20 days) of no response, start to file for mail fraud. The faster you file the mail fraud, the faster you will get what is owed to you.
3. The other party responds to my e-mails, but keeps giving me excuses and/or the run around. What should I do?
It's more than likely they just trying to buy more time. If they reply to your e-mails but keeps telling you that it will be shipped soon, over and over, notify them that you will be filing for mail fraud. If item has not been sent out within 7 days of you sending payment, prepare to file for mail fraud. Especially with PayPal and their 30-day policy (see FAQ #6). If you keep on letting them buy more time, they'll just keep giving you that same answer over and over until either the PayPal 30-day complaint is over, or if you forget about it and give up trying to get the item. Sometimes, they even try to buy more time as they have already started to transfer funds over to their bank account.
4. What do I need when I file a complaint?
Most of the time it's a win-win situation if you have most, if not all of the following..
You will need the following contact information of the other party:
- Phone number (if available)
- E-mail and/or Instant Message conversations
- Proof of shipment of item
- Proof of payment (Credit Card Bills, Check Statements, PayPal, etc.)
- If you paid with credit card, notify the credit card company, and inform them of the situation. Tell them you want to dispute the charge, and they will investigate. Depending on credit card company, they'll give the money back.
- If you paid with a money order, you can go back to the place you bought the money order from or call the number that is on the receipt stub from the money order and have them do a 'stop payment' (assuming they have not cashed it in yet). What 'stop payment' does is, it prevents the person from cashing it in. But if the money order has been cashed already, there is nothing that can be done, unless you file for mail fraud. Also, the receipt stub that was on the money order can also be used as proof of payment, as well as proof of them cashing it when they track the money order.
- If you paid with a check, its similar to a money order. You can do a 'stop payment'. If the check has been cashed, there is nothing that can be done, unless you file for mail fraud. If the check has been cashed, you can ask your bank to for a bank statement concerning the check. This will be used as proof that the person cashed your check.
- If you paid in cash, this will be harder as there is no proof/receipt that you sent it. So, send at your own risk.
PayPal's policy is that, you have 30-days to file a complaint. If after 30-days, you are out of luck. If you have not received a response and/or item within 20-days, file a complaint with PayPal. If by any chance, you do receive the item, you can cancel the complaint with PayPal. If the other party is at fault, PayPal will recover whatever money is owed to you, IF the money is in the other party's account. If there is no money in the account, there is nothing that can be done unless you used your credit card on PayPal to pay for the item (see FAQ #5).
7. Does there have to be a certain value before I can file for mail fraud?
No. It's not the cost and/or value of the item, in order for you to file for mail fraud. It's the principle. You can file for mail fraud whether your lost or the item costs, $5.00, $100.00, or even $1,000.00. Mail fraud is a crime and a federal offense. Legal action can be taken against the other party if they are found guilty if they do not return what is owed to the respectful owner.
:: DOMESTIC ::
The following sites are places to file for mail fraud. I suggest filing as many as you can. This will not only help you, but will make the process quicker and notify the authorities of what the person is doing.
Contact your nearest local law enforcement agency (Police) and inform them of the situation. You can also contact your local State/County Attorney General as they should have Consumer Fraud Divisions.
U.S. Postal Inspection Service - http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/
USPS Mail Fraud Complaint Form - https://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/MailFraudComplaint.htm
Mail-in Mail Fraud Complaint Form (.PDF) -- Adobe Acrobat is needed to view - http://www.usps.com/forms/_pdf/ps8165.pdf
USPS Online Feedback Form - https://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/notice.htm
Postal Inspector Office Locator - http://www.usps.com/ncsc/locators/find-is.html
Mail: Inspection Service Support Group
Attn: Fraud Section
222 S Riverside Plaza
Chicago, IL 60606-6100
Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) for the FBI - http://www.ic3.gov/
IFCC Complaint Form - http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/
Federal Trade Commission - http://www.ftc.gov/
FTC Consumer Complaint Form - https://rn.ftc.gov/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01
National Fraud Information - http://www.fraud.org/
National Fraud Complaint Form - http://126.96.36.199/repoform.htm
9am - 5pm Eastern Time
Better Business Bureau - http://www.bbb.org/
BBB Online Complaint Form - http://bbbcomplaints.e-asp.net/Welcome.asp
:: INTERNATIONAL ::
Contact your nearest local law enforcement agency and inform them of the situation.
International Fraud - http://www.econsumer.gov/english/index.html
econsumer.gov Complaint Form - https://www.econsumer.gov/imsn/wimsnery2$com.main?p_lang_seq=1
International Web Police - http://www.web-police.org/
Canadian Consumer Information Complaint Form - http://consumerinformation.ca/ComplaintCourier/index.cfm?lang=e
P.O. Box 686
North Bay, Ontario
Toll Free Phone: (888) 495-8501
Toll Free Fax: (888) 654-9426
Council of Better Business Bureaus
220 - 44 Byward Market Square
Phone: (613) 789-5151
Fax: (613) 789-7044
:: MISCELLANEOUS ::SquareTrade -- File a dispute. SquareTrade will be the mediator. - http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/index.jsp
SquareTrade Online Dispute Resolution Service -- FREE to file/$29.95 if mediator requested - https://www.squaretrade.com/odr/jsp/fil/filing_start_a.jsp;jsessionid=u1pvgl6rr1?vhostid=chipotle&stmp=squaretrade&cntid=u3pr6xix01&odrid=u1pvgl6rr1
4 Step Process To Resolve Disputes - https://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/odr/learn_odr.jsp
What is Online Dispute Resolution? - http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/hlp/odr.jsp;jsessionid=gq861s6u12?vhostid=chipotle&stmp=squaretrade&cntid=gq861s6u12&cate=1&ques=1
PayPal Email Help Form - http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_contact-general
PayPal Service Center: Call us at: 402-935-2050
PayPal Customer Service Agents are available to help you during the following times:
- 4:00 AM PDT to 10:00 PM PDT Monday through Friday
- 6:00 AM PDT to 8:00 PM PDT on Saturday
- 8:00 AM PDT to 6:00 PM PDT on Sunday
- Your telephone number
- Your email address
- The last 4 digits of your credit card or bank account registered with PayPal
Due to overwhelming response of other people filing reports, it may take a while for agencies to review your submission and proofs. So patience is needed. This Mail Fraud Guide is based on my own personal experience and from research on the web. Each person/case will have a different outcome.
If you found this guide to be very helpful, please click YES at the bottom. Thank you.