18/10/2004

Royal Mail urged to redouble efforts to stop mass mail scams

Royal Mail has been told to "tighten" its procedures in an effort to try to stop fraudsters using the postal system to get to consumers.

The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) made the calls after statistics revealed that 67% of complaints about scams aimed at consumers relate to items delivered through the post.

The figures indicate that, with over six billion pieces of junk mail entering UK letterboxes every year, fraudsters are increasingly using the post to reach consumers, the institute said.

TSI chief Ron Gainsford said that it was high time that more was done to stop scams and bogus prize competitions landing on Britain's doormats.

He added: "In many cases investigated by trading standards staff, the Royal Mail has delivered the items being complained about under contract or formal agreement. We believe Royal Mail should be taking more responsibility to vet those companies it enters into contracts with.

"We want the DTI to consider placing more responsibility on postal companies to ensure that what they deliver is legal and honest."

As TSI research has shown that nearly half of all postal scams originate from within the UK and nearly a quarter from other European countries, the organisation is calling for a "Europe-wide agreement" to get all postal services to take more responsibility for their mass mail shot contracts.

Free information leaflets on the issue are available from any Trading Standards office.

(gmcg/mb)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 October 2009
Further Postal Strikes 'Less Likely'
While more than 30 million items of mail were delayed during last week's strikes, it has emerged today that union leaders are having second thoughts about an escalation. They are to decide today whether or not a new wave of postal strikes will go ahead this week as planned.
13 April 2011
Amendments 'Strengthen Postal Bill'
The Government has today published a number of amendments to strengthen the Postal Services Bill. The changes incorporate feedback from MPs, Lords, Royal Mail, other postal operators and the Communication Workers Union, as well as other interested parties.
25 January 2011
Met Police Seize Scam Mail Aimed At UK Victims
In the first operation of its kind, officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's Economic and Specialist Crime Unit (Operation Sterling) took possession of a bulk delivery of scam mail intended for vulnerable victims across the UK and searched and closed five virtual offices used by the scammers.
01 June 2005
Royal Mail criticises regulator’s proposals
Royal Mail has criticised proposals drawn up by industry regulator Postcomm, claiming they would lead to the “inexorable decline” of the postal operator. Postcomm has recommended price caps on the cost of stamps, meaning that first-class stamps could rise to no more than 34p and second-class stamps to no more than 23p by 2010.
08 October 2009
Vote For UK Mail Strike Questioned
It could be a cold festive season this year as the Christmas post is now in doubt. But while it looks like being seriously affected now that Royal Mail workers have voted for a national strike - management insist that a majority are not in favour.