Mail fraud occurs whenever someone uses the mail in any way while committing a crime. Because of this broad definition, there are many ways in which it can occur.
However, the United States Postal Inspection Service highlights a few specific types of schemes that are the most prevalent way people may use the mail system to commit fraud.
Sweepstakes and lottery
These types of scams will usually involve a mailer that says you have won a sweepstakes or lottery. You probably will not remember even entering the contest because you never did. This fishing scam is trying to get you to pay money to receive your prize.
While this may seem like a phone scam, it often starts with a postcard telling you to call a number. Often these cards make it seem like you will get something for free or they pitch a real product. When you call, they are just fishing for your personal information.
Against elders and veterans
Older individuals are often the target of mail fraud offering everything from fake promotions to phony giveaways. Veterans are often a target as well with scams that offer them special deals or services due to their veteran status. The goal is to steal personal information or extort money.
Financial scams often require you to send a payment to receive something you did not solicit. This could be sending payment to secure a credit card or joining a club. In any situation, the idea is to get your money or personal information, and you never receive what they offered you.