Since about 1988, unscrupulous people have promoted a fraudulent
scheme to sell secret information that claims it is legal to send
a First-Class letter for only 2 cents, 3 cents, or 6 cents. For
various prices, often ranging from $5 to $20, the promoter sends
you a copy of an out-of-date federal law that was eliminated by
the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 (Title 39 of the United
Don't be misled by a promoter's claim that his letter, advertising
the secret, reached you with only a 2-cent, 3-cent, or 6-cent
stamp. A few underpaid letters do get through the Postal Service's
automated mail processing equipment, but most don't. So, if you
buy the secret, not only will you be wasting your money, you will
also have any short-paid letters you send either returned to you
or delivered to the addressees who will be charged the additional
Also, don't be misled if the promoter claims that the law that
reflects the lower postage rate has never been changed by the U.S.
Congress. Prior to passage of the Postal Reorganization Act,
postage rates were set by the Congress, and the rate of postage
for First-Class Mail was 6-cent. However, when the Post Office
Department became the U.S. Postal Service in July 1971, the power
to prescribe postal rates was delegated to the Postal Service.
Under the new law, postal rates were no longer established by
direct legislative enactment, but through administrative action by
the Postal Service Board of Governors and the independent Postal
Rate Commission. Also, Section 3 of the act provided that postage
rates, as well as classes of mail and fees for postal services,
prescribed before the effective date of the new law, were to
remain in effect until they were changed in accordance with the
new administrative rate-making procedures outlined by the Act.
If you begin selling obsolete postal rate material to others, you
will be engaging in a promotion which violates the False
Representation Statute (Title 39, United States Code, Section
3005) and may be in violation of the Mail Fraud Statute (Title 39,
United States Code, Section 1341), a federal felony law.
When you open your mail, if you receive an offer for an
information package on how to send First-Class Mail using only a
2-cent, 3-cent, or 6-cent stamp, give the envelope and its
contents back to your postal letter carrier, or forward it to your
local postmaster or the nearest Postal Inspector.
Brought to you by - The 'Lectric Law Library
The Net's Finest Legal Resource For Legal Pros & Laypeople Alike.