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Mail fraud refers to any scheme which attempts to unlawfully obtain money or valuables in which the postal system is used at any point in the commission of a criminal offense. Mail fraud is a legal concept in the United States Code which can provide for increased penalty of any criminally fraudulent activity if it is determined that the activity involved used the United States Postal Service. As in the case of wire fraud, this statute is often used as a basis for a separate federal prosecution of what would otherwise have been only a violation of a state law. The concept of mail fraud is irrelevant in countries with non-federal legal systems: the activities listed below are likely to be crimes, but the fact that they are carried out by mail makes no difference to which authority may prosecute or the penalties which may be imposed.