Spam Masquerading as Official, Important Mail: Paramount Merchant Funding

It's been a while since I have received a fake "check" whose cashing obligates me to a four year contract, or a deceptive yellow pages solicitation, or even my favorite, the board minutes services that masquerade as an official government form.  So I will highlight Paramount Merchant Funding for this over the top message on the front of their envelope they sent me, again in an apparent bid to masquerade as some sort of official mail that must be opened.


The scam here is clever -- I don't have time to bother looking it up, but my guess is that this message is literally true - for all mail sent through the USPS.  But it is obviously meant to virtually force someone to open it thinking it is official, which I was dumb enough to do.

They seem to have a perfect 1-star review record over at Yelp, a fact I could have called in advance sight unseen.  They have more BBB complaints in the last year (5) than my company has in our whole history (0).


  1. Rusty Bill:

    You're right, it's the generic "don't mess with anybody's mail but your own" clause.


    Title 18 United States Code Chapter 83 Postal Service Section 1702:

    18 USC § 1702 - Obstruction of correspondence

    Whoever takes any letter, postal card, or package out of any post office or any authorized depository for mail matter, or from any letter or mail carrier, or which has been in any post office or authorized depository, or in the custody of any letter or mail carrier, before it has been delivered to the person to whom it was directed, with design to obstruct the correspondence, or to pry into the business or secrets of another, or opens, secretes, embezzles, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

  2. mesocyclone:

    I'm surprised you just now got one of these. I've been getting this sort of crap forever.

  3. Xmas:

    I get some interesting ones as part of my dad's mail. I suspect, as you get older, you'll get more and more "official" looking letters from businesses with psuedo-government sounding names, like "USA Retirement Services".

  4. LarryGross:

    you guys actually open these? geeze!

  5. Incunabulum:

    There's a book I read not too long ago, "Blindsight", which deals with a 1st contact scenario.
    To make this short - the aliens are non-sentient (ie - not self-aware) and its speculated that they're kinda pissed at us because they keep getting all these signals (monitoring radio communications in the solar system) that, to them, appear to contain information but when analyzed turn out to be gibberish (to them). They're pissed because (to them) its like an attack - sending signals that seem to be useful but waste the recipients time through deception.
    Spam is trying hard to be exactly like that.

  6. LarryGross:

    so SPAM is really important communications that is misunderstood by the recipients?


  7. Ron H.:

    Of course government agencies are exempt as they are above the law.

  8. Incunabulum:

    No, spam is an informational warfare attack.