Royal Mail today announced that it has successfully intercepted and stopped 3 million scam mail items from reaching UK homes since stepping up its drive against fraudsters in November 2016.
This milestone follows the launch of several new initiatives aimed at protecting consumers from scam mail which can include invitations to participate in lotteries with fake prizes and letters from people posing as “clairvoyants”.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to stop this fraudulent material from reaching UK households,” said Stephen Agar, Managing Director of Letters at Royal Mail. “We continue to deploy a range of different initiatives to keep one step ahead of the scammers.”
In November 2016, Royal Mail first announced the coordination of an industry-wide response to tackle fraudulent mail at its source including the launch of an industry-wide code of practice, developed by Royal Mail and other postal operators.
In March 2017, Royal Mail announced changes to the terms and conditions governing bulk mail contracts. The changes enabled Royal Mail to follow up on solid intelligence by refusing to carry mail that is suspected to be fraudulent.
In April 2017, Royal Mail began proactively contacting by Special Delivery households receiving high volumes of scam mail. Under the initiative Royal Mail blocks and impounds scam mail at its major distribution centres before it reaches the customer’s letterbox. Legitimate business and personal mail continue to be delivered to the customer in the usual way.
Impacted customers are able to contact a dedicated Royal Mail helpline, email address or Freepost address for more information* if they have any concerns.
The list of anti-scam initiatives taken by Royal Mail includes:
Leading the industry to launch a new Code of Practice on scam mail
Writing to impacted households by Special Delivery to alert them to scam mail
Stopping scam mail from reaching letterboxes by impounding at distribution centres
Working with National Trading Standards Scams Team to train our delivery people to identify scam mail
Providing a special helpline, email address and Freepost address for customers
Providing funding for the national ‘Friends Against Scams’ initiative
Working in partnership with postal services in other countries
Funding academic research projects to better understand the issue
These recent initiatives build on work Royal Mail has already done in tandem with the National Trading Standards Scams Team to protect its customers from fraudulent items of mail. In 2014, the company set up a joint initiative with the National Trading Standards Scams Team introducing a new process for terminating the mailings of companies that send fraudulent mail. This also resulted in thousands of frontline workers being trained in how to identify scam mail and spot potential victims of scam mail.
Source: Royal Mail