Publication 342 - USPS Anti-Money Laundering Program

May 2006
PSN 7610-08-000-434


Customer Information & Tips

What is Money Laundering?

Mon•ey laund•er•ing v 1 any attempt to exchange cash from criminal activities for money that cannot be traced to the crimes. A typical money laundering scheme would be to buy goods (jewelry, cars) or financial products (USPS® Money Orders, stored value cards) with cash from selling drugs or stolen property.

The U.S. Postal Service is doing everything it can to prevent this crime and to protect our valued customers. Sometimes your Retail Associate will ask for personal information when you buy certain USPS® products, like money orders. By providing this information you are helping to protect yourself and helping to keep criminals out of your Post Office™. You are also obeying the law.


What is the Bank Secrecy Act and what does it mean to me as a Postal Service customer?

The Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions and some businesses (such as car dealers, jewelers, and the U.S. Postal Service®) to complete and file a transaction report with the U.S. Treasury when a cash transaction exceeds a certain amount. These reports help identify potential money laundering activities and are a major tool in shutting down dangerous criminals such as terrorists, drug dealers and dealers in stolen goods.

To meet the requirements of this law, the U.S. Postal Service requires that customers fill out a Funds Transaction Report (Form 8105-A) and present a U.S. Government-issued photo ID whenever they purchase $3,000 or more in money orders in one day. The form is very easy to complete. All you need is your name, address, Social Security Number, date of birth and the number of your photo ID. Filling out the customer portion of a Form 8105-A is also required when cashing Postal Service™ Money Orders for more than $10,000.

If you are buying $1,000 or more in Sure Money™ transactions, you will need to present a U.S. Government-issued photo ID to the USPS Retail Associate so he or she may complete the computerized transaction process. You will also need to provide the name and address of the person who is receiving the funds. The recipient must provide a photo ID when receiving the funds to ensure that the right person receives the money. Please note that you may only buy $2,000 worth of Sure Money™ transactions in a day.

How does the USPS® Anti-Money Laundering Program help me, the Postal Service Customer?

Filling out a Form 8105-A helps protect law-abiding customers in a number of ways. First, it helps prevent identification theft–that is someone using your Social Security Number, or other identification, to hide their identity when conducting illegal business. Second, it helps cut down on criminal activity in your neighborhood. Finally, it enables Postal Service™ customers to feel secure that the USPS is doing its part to discourage criminals from using their services, thereby making your local Post Office™ a safer place to conduct business.

Filling out a Funds Transaction Report form is easy. It helps protect everyone from illegal money laundering.

Tips to make buying money orders and Sure Money™ transactions faster and easier

Money Orders

- If you are a high volume customer and frequently purchase $3,000 or more in money orders, ask your USPS® Retail Associate for a supply of blank 8105-A forms. You can then save time at your Post Office™ by completing the customer portions before making the trip.

- Remember to bring the completed form to the office each time you want to make a purchase of $3,000 or more. You will still need to show your U.S. Government-issued photo ID when you buy the money orders.

Sure Money

- If you frequently make Sure Money transactions, ask the USPS Retail Associate for a “frequent customer” card. Present the card each time you make a Sure Money purchase. The associate needs only to enter the “transaction number” from the card, and all information relating to the last purchase will be displayed on the screen.

- Having a frequent customer card can save up to five minutes per visit because the associate will not have to type in all the information (sender name and address and beneficiary name) for the transaction.

- Remind the person to whom you are sending the Sure Money that they will need to provide a photo ID in order to receive the funds.

- Check the information on the “unconfirmed receipt” when making Sure Money transactions. Make sure you have the exact spelling of the beneficiary’s name. If the beneficiary’s name is misspelled–even if one letter is wrong–it could cause the beneficiary not to be able to receive the funds. Being careful when you fill out the form can help prevent delays and problems for the beneficiary.

Publication 342, May 2006
PSN 7610-08-000-4346

© 2006 United States Postal Service