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United States Postal Inspection Service
Postal Money Order Security


Postal money orders are as secure, if not more so, than any other financial instrument.

Genuine postal money orders contain design features that maximize their security. Here are some tips to help you recognize the difference between authentic postal money orders and counterfeits.

Notice 299, Security Features for U.S. Postal Money Orders identifies important security features of postal money orders. (Or, read the text-only version of Notice 299.) Note: This new May 2005 edition of Notice 299 is not yet available in print. Please check back in a few weeks.

Read about Postal Inspectors' advances in combating counterfeit financial instrument fraud in a New York Times article on U.S. Postal Money Order Security.

Learn more about postal money order security.

Tips for postal customers

  • Be skeptical of anyone asking you to wire money to overseas bank accounts, or to cash money orders or checks, on their behalf.
  • Know who you're dealing with--never give out personal or financial information to anyone you don't know.
  • Familiarize yourself with postal money order security features.
  • Never wire funds to anyone unless you're sure the money order or check they gave you was cleared by your bank and the funds released.

Tips for business owners

  • Never accept money orders or checks for more than the selling price.
  • Never agree to wire funds to a buyer--legitimate buyers won't pressure you to do so, and you have limited recourse if there's a problem.
  • Resist pressure to "act now." If the buyer's offer is good now, it will be good when the check or money order clears.

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