Postal Inspection Service


To mitigate risks to employees, customers, and assets, the Postal Inspection Service conducted reviews of critical postal facilities using the Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Tool. This new survey helps identify risks and security deficiencies inherent to a facility, including its IT infrastructure, systems, and physical characteristics.

The Postal Inspection Service also conducts background investigations for employees and contractors who are required to have some level of background investigation before gaining employment or access to mail or postal facilities. Its Security Investigations Service Center processed approximately 45,000 requests for background investigations in the past year.


In January a team of Postal Inspectors with specific expertise in postal security was deployed to Haiti and the Dominican Republic to help restore service. Postal Inspectors conducted security assessments, delivered recommendations for a temporary mail delivery network and processing center, and helped coordinate security needs. The mission supported agreements forged by the Postal Service with the Universal Postal Union and the Postal Union of the Americas, Spain, and Portugal.


The Revenue Protection Program works to safeguard postal revenue from criminal attack and ensure the integrity of postal products and services. In 2010, it evaluated internal financial controls and risks at business mail entry units (BMEUs). The reviews tested key controls of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) Compliance Group at 108 BMEUs nationwide, as well as controls identified as vulnerable by Postal Inspectors’ revenue investigations.

New processes were put in place to prevent duplicate postage refunds for a single Express Mail shipment. Revised processes also improved the accuracy of handling postage refunds on shipments paid with accounts by matching specific data records.


The Postal Inspection Service’s National Forensic Laboratory in Dulles, VA, gained accreditation this past year from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD). Accreditation requires demonstration of 90 percent compliance with ASCLD standards. The National Forensic Laboratory, responsible for conducting scientific examinations of evidence collected in ongoing investigations, achieved 100 percent compliance.

image of the logo for the american society of crime laboratory directors


Postal Inspectors investigate crimes that involve the mail, whether the crime originates in the mail, by telephone, or online. Using the mail in any way to conduct a fraudulent scheme constitutes mail fraud. The Postal Inspection Service sponsors fraud-awareness campaigns every year to educate customers about the latest schemes to protect themselves. A brochure with preventive information was mailed to every household in America, made possible by money collected in fines and damages from criminals convicted of running fraudulent schemes. In April, the Postal Inspection Service teamed with the Department of Justice and National Center for Victims of Crime to showcase National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Posters and information cards were distributed to 12,500 Post Offices for display and as handouts to customers.

Anyone who suspects they have been targeted by fraud that involves the mail should report it online at or at 877-876-2455.


The National Preparedness function is responsible for developing and supporting preparedness policy and programs to ensure that critical functions in the postal services continue under any circumstance. This includes responding to emergencies and other incidents affecting postal operations; coordinating the deployment of emergency equipment and supplies, and assisting with preparation, damage assessments, and recovery efforts.