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Office of the Inspector General


 Prohibition Against Misuse of Treasury Names, Terms, Symbols, Stationery, Etc.

Section 333 of title 31 of the United States Code prohibits the misuse of names, terms, symbols, and stationery of the Department of the Treasury or its subdivisions for business activities that could be reasonably construed as falsely implying that such activities are authorized by the Treasury.
Despite this legal prohibition, businesses sometimes send solicitations that are crafted to look like they are sent by Treasury. These solicitations often contain disclaimers stating that the businesses are neither government agencies nor affiliated with any government agencies, but the use of any disclaimer is legally irrelevant to the determination of whether the statute has been violated.

How You Can Help

Such mailings are illegal under section 333 and can result in significant civil and criminal penalties, including administrative levy of monetary assessments by the Treasury Inspector General against those who misuse protected Treasury words or marks.
Our continued success in protecting the public from such misuse or misrepresentation depends on your help. If you receive such a solicitation, please send it to us at the following address:
E-mail to:
Fax to:      202-927-6492
Mail to:     Department of the Treasury
                  Office of Inspector General
                  Office of Counsel
                  875 15th Street, N.W.
                  Room 4053
                  Washington, D.C. 20005
Last Updated: 5/17/2016 5:11 PM
OIG Hotline: Click Here
For information about whistleblowing and reprisal and about your rights and responsibilities as a Treasury employee or contractor, please contact the OIG Whistleblower Ombudsman Program at


The Council of Inspectors General on Financial Oversight was established by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111-203). Council members share information about their ongoing work, with a focus on concerns that may apply to the broader financial sector and ways to improve financial oversight. The Council is made of nine financial regulatory agency Inspectors General and is chaired by Eric Thorson, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Treasury.