News item

Royal Mail and trading standards launch new joint initiative to tackle scam mail

  • Royal Mail and Trading Standards have joined forces to launch a new initiative to tackle scam mail in the postal system
  • The joint initiative between Royal Mail, the National Trading Standards Scams Team for England and Wales and Trading Standards Scotland creates a new improved process for cancelling the contracts of companies that send fraudulent mail
  • Alongside this, officers from Trading Standards are holding dedicated training sessions at Royal Mail delivery offices across the UK to improve awareness of  scam mail among postmen and women so that they can report suspect items
  • Royal Mail and Trading Standards are encouraging people who believe they, or a family member, are receiving potentially fraudulent mail to report it

Royal Mail and Trading Standards have joined forces to launch a new initiative to tackle scam mail in the postal system.

New agreement between Trading Standards and Royal Mail
The joint initiative between Royal Mail, the National Trading Standards Scams Team for England and Wales and Trading Standards Scotland creates a new improved process for cancelling the contracts of companies that send fraudulent mail.

Under the initiative, Trading Standards will determine whether a mailing is fraudulent and alert Royal Mail, before writing to the identified company requesting they stop posting the items.

Alongside this, Royal Mail will warn the company about its actions before cancelling its contract if it continues to post fraudulent items.

Improving awareness of scam mail

Royal Mail and Trading Standards offices across England, Scotland and Wales are also working together to raise awareness of scam mail.

Officers from Trading Standards are holding dedicated training sessions at delivery offices across the UK to improve awareness of  scam mail among postmen and women.

This will help postmen and women identify what they suspect could be fraudulent mailings so that these mailings can be investigated by Trading Standards.  

Postmen and women will be encouraged to report suspect mail to Royal Mail’s internal security team. Royal Mail will pass the information to Trading Standards so that they can investigate suspected scam mail and support potential victims.

Royal Mail and Trading Standards are also encouraging people who believe they, or a family member, are receiving potentially fraudulent mail to report it.

People who want to make us aware of potentially fraudulent mail so that we can then work with the relevant authorities to investigate and take action can write to Royal Mail at Freepost Scam Mail or call us on 03456 113 413 or email scam.mail@royalmail.com

Alternatively, you can contact Citizens Advice consumer service by calling 03454 04 05 06, writing to Citizens Advice consumer service, Post Point 24, Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston super Mare, North Somerset, BS23 1UJ or by completing an online form here: https://forms.adviceguide.org.uk/complaint_post.aspx 

Royal Mail’s Group Security Director Tony Marsh said: “We very much understand the upset and anxiety that scam mail can cause, in particular to vulnerable people and their families. This new initiative with the National Trading Standards Scams Team will help us to better identify scam mail to stop it entering our postal network.

“We do not want our postmen or women handling or delivering mail that causes harm. Royal Mail will work closely with the National Trading Standards Scams Team to identify and stop scam mail wherever we can.”

Lord Toby Harris, Chair, National Trading Standards, said: “This is an important step that will help disrupt scam mail operations and reduce people’s exposure to this fraudulent practice. Our partnership with Royal Mail will help those people – often the elderly or vulnerable – from being targeted in their homes. It also sends a clear message to those behind these scams that tackling this issue is a priority for National Trading Standards, Royal Mail and our partners.”   

Councillor Stephen Hagan, Chair of the Consumer Protection Task Group, said: “This is an excellent example of partnership working between Trading Standards and business to protect vulnerable consumers. Scammers deliberately target the vulnerable – so we must ensure they get the protection they need.”

Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said: “I welcome the collaboration between Royal Mail and Trading Standards which will help tackle the threat posed by postal scammers. Stopping fraudulent mail from entering the postal system will better protect the most vulnerable of people and mean they won’t become victims of targeted, and often cleverly worded traps, designed to part them from their savings.”

Ends

For further information contact:
James Eadie 020 7250 2468/07850 757271
james.r.eadie@royalmail.com

Notes to editors
 
National Trading Standards Board

  • The National Trading Standards Board is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards. 
  • The National Trading Standards Board provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally. 


National Trading Scams Team

The National Trading Standards Scams Team works in partnership with other agencies across the country to identify and support victims of mass marketing fraud.

DATE: 22 September 2014