Iím purposely going to omit details here because I donít want to be an accessory to the crime that some folks are perpetrating against the USPS.
Most collectors are familiar with computer vended postage. The USPS did away with stamp vending machines because they were constantly breaking and expensive to repair. Now the USPS has kiosks where you can weigh a letter or package and pay for postage. You can also buy other computer vended postage stamps from the kiosk.
In the simplest of terms, these are just colored labels. This is where Iím going to omit the details. However, at the present time, these computer vended stamps are relatively easy to counterfeit. Anyone with a computer could create convincing counterfeits.
The counterfeiters are exploiting vulnerability in the system that should detect the use of counterfeits. Hopefully, itís not long until the USPS plugs that hole. Until they do though, counterfeits are possible and the chances of getting caught are very small.
Luckily, this hasnít become a rampant problem that Iím aware of. However, there have been a few listings on eBay of massive quantities of computer vended postage at figures which are well below face value. I have no proof since I have not bought any material like this. But sellers are offering these computer vended stamps by the hundreds or few thousand Ė quantities that should not normally be available. These huge lots of computer vended stamps are probably counterfeits.
There is an opportunity for collectors here. If you receive mail franked with computer vended stamps, pay close attention to it. You just might have an example of a counterfeit that successfully passed through the USPS mails.