FBI, CIA, AFT…USPIS? It’s not an alphabet agency that is often brought up in conversation around the DC Beltway. However, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service was founded over 100 years prior to the FBI and almost 150 years before the CIA. Their mission is to “support and protect the U.S. Postal Service, its employees, infrastructure, and customers by enforcing the laws that defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use.”
This week’s guest is U.S. Postal Inspector and Marine Veteran Carroll Harris. Since I’ve been the host, Carroll is the first guest to reach out and ask to be on the show so he can get information out to Veterans. Operation Protect Veterans is an effort by the Postal Inspection Service to prevent crimes and scams within the mail system that are targeting the Veteran population.
Among the current scams targeting our Veteran Community include (Source USPIS):
- “Secret” Veteran Benefits Scam: Veterans are told they qualify for “secret” government programs or benefits that offer thousands of dollars – but first, they attempt to collect personal information or a fee.
- Benefits Buyout Offer: Scammers take advantage of veterans in need by offering a quick upfront buyout – usually at a fraction of the value – of future disability or pension payments.
- VA Loan Scams: Offers to refinance VA loans at extremely low rates.
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In addition, we talk about Carroll’s role as a historian in the Marine Corps Reserve. He is attached to the Marine Corps History Division and is tasked with going on deployments to record Marine Corps history in times of conflict. In the episode, he covers how he was “drafted” into the history division in Kuwait, right before the Marine Corps crossed the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border during 2003’s Operation Enduring Freedom.
In this episode we also cover his deployments, his early work as a DEA federal agent and the postal service’s role in developing CBS’s The Inspectors.
Centering on the criminal investigations of U.S. postal inspectors, “The Inspectors” is the only show on commercial television paid for by a U.S. government agency, with its funding coming from the United States Postal Service asset forfeiture and consumer fraud awareness funds (Source, USPIS).
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