U.S. Postal Inspection Service

If you were charged in a crime involving Mail Fraud, Credit Card Fraud, Bank Fraud, or an Online Crime, you may have been investigated by, or were arrested by U.S. Postal Inspectors working for the U.S. Postal Service.


Pursuant to 18 U.S. Code ยง 3061 U.S. Postal Inspectors are the Federal Law Enforcement and Security Arm of the U.S. Postal Service, with a wide range of investigative authority. As sworn federal law enforcement agents, the more then 1,400 U.S. Postal Inspectors enforce over 200 federal laws and investigate crimes that adversely affect or fraudulently use the U.S. Mail and postal system. Inspectors assist U.S. Attorneys, other law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors to investigate postal cases and prepare them for prosecution.

Postal Inspectors Powers of Enforcement

Postal Inspectors designated by the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service are authorized to investigate criminal matters related to the U.S. mail and may:

  • Obtain and execute warrants and subpoenas issued under the authority of the U.S.
  • Make arrests for any felony offense against the U.S. committed in their presence.
  • Carry firearms for the purpose of performing their duties.
  • Make seizures of property as provided by law.
  • Conduct investigations regarding violations of Federal law
  • Conduct investigations of offenses against property owned by the Postal Service

Postal Inspectors Primary Responsibilities

  • Protection of Postal Service employees
  • Investigate crimes exploiting children through the U.S. Mail
  • Investigate child pornography schemes carried out by U.S. Mail
  • Investigate the distribution of narcotics through the U.S. Mail
  • Investigate crimes related to counterfeit postage stamps and postal money orders
  • Investigate the desertion, obstruction, delay or destruction of U.S. Mail
  • Investigate the crimes related to the theft of U.S. Mail
  • Investigate illegal Obscene and Sexually Oriented Advertising sent by U.S. Mail
  • Investigate crimes related to illegal acts through monetary transactions
  • Investigate crimes related to identity takeovers. (Identity Theft)

Investigation of Electronic Crimes

Postal Inspectors protect postal customers from fraud schemes and crimes that occur online and involve the misuse of the mail or U.S. Postal Service. Electronic Crimes include using or selling stolen or counterfeit access devices, such as credit card numbers; using protected computers without proper authority or exceeding authorized access; using computer communications in a scheme to defraud; using a false identity when sending commercial e-mails to mislead or deceive recipients, as with spam; and unauthorized access to communications that are stored electronically via a communications service.