Royal Mail intercept 3 million Scam Mail items
Royal Mail have intercepted and stopped 3 million scam mail items from reaching customers homes since launching several initiatives to crack down on scam mail 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. We continue to deploy a range of different initiatives to keep one step ahead of the scammers.”
– Stephen Agar, Managing Director of Letters at Royal Mail
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. Reading between the lines, you might think that scammers have found it easier to send mail through third parties who use Royal Mail for the final mile delivery so closing this loophole makes a lot of sense.
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.
Royal Mail Anti-Scam Initiatives
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.
Customers can find out more information about scams by visiting friendsagainstscams.org.uk
we wonder if they could now find our undelivered mail and return it to us
well that’s all nice, but most of the scam mail i received previously wasn’t addressed to me, it was the junk RM get paid to drop through with my actual mail.
seems like they could have solved their problem by not creating the problem in the first place.
also seems easier to identify the senders of (addressed) scam mail, stop collecting mail from them before it’s in the system, inform any “final mile” partners of your embargo, and send the police round to investigate the fraud happening at that address. rather than individually identify, sort and isolate as they go through the system, and stockpile 3 million mail items somewhere.