Do you know, the US Post Office is complicit in this scam?
Yup! I sent in my documentation for my "Award Account Notification", and I marked it with the following waiver:
I CONFIRM HEREWITH THAT YOU (OR YOUR SPONSOR) HAVE MY PERMISSION TO DEDUCT THE ABOVE FEE [$20] FROM MY WINNINGS (LIKEWISE ANY OTHER FEE, SUCH AS PORTO).
Of course, I wasn't going to bother to stick a postage stamp on this... surely they could just deduct this fee (also) from my fabulous award! ;-)
I put on the front of the envelope "port paye" (that's the official marking, internationally recognized to mean that the addressee will pay the postage).
The envelope made it to Huntington Station! Can you believe the Post Office actually delivered it for free? Okay, yes, actually, I knew they would, since the policy is surely to make the addressee pay for the porto, otherwise the Post Office refuses to allow the addressee to take (and open) the letter.
Well this is where the Post Office is run by idiots... they allowed the addressee to open the letter (whereupon they found there was no money in it! Heh, heh). However, the scammers were then allowed to reseal the envelope and return it with the stamp "RETURNED FOR POSTAGE."
Your taxes at work! With our tax-funded assets that pay for the US Mail, they took the trouble to write my return address on the envelope and return the letter all the way back to my house! Everyone in America is now being scammed with the Post Office's blessing, and we're all paying for this letter being delivered for free, and returned for free!
Stupid Post Office!
Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey