Royal Mail – Fighting the Scourge of Scam Mail

Royal Mail never knowingly delivers scam mail. Scam mail is a scourge and we know the terrible pain and suffering it causes. We do not want to handle it or earn any revenue from it. For that reason, we are working with our employees, industry partners and law enforcement agencies to tackle this issue even more vigorously. 

We are committed to terminating any mailing identified by law enforcement agencies as being used to scam recipients. Since 2014, we have terminated mailings where companies have been proven to be operating scam mail. This has prevented an estimated 22 million items from reaching UK households and businesses in this time.

With all of this, we need to strike the right balance between protecting our customers’ privacy and identifying suspected scam mail by opening up suspect letters. We can only act on solid intelligence to ensure we act within the confines of the law and within a reasonable and proportionate manner.

We actively encourage our people to report any concerns they have about households they suspect are vulnerable to postal scams to their line manager.  Since 2014, thousands of operational delivery staff have received training in conjunction with the National Trading Standards Scams Team, at delivery offices across the UK. Over 700 victims have been identified as a result of these sessions, many of whom are then able to get help from their local Trading Standards.

We aim to raise the profile of the processes that we have put in place, both internally through Royal Mail’s own communications channels, and externally through the work we are doing with NTSST and National Scams Awareness week. 

In October 2016 we launched an industry-wide Code of Practice in the UK to stop these terrible mailings from reaching our customers including the quicker sharing of intelligence on potential scam mail and the addition of anti-scam clauses into bulk mail contracts. Within weeks of launching this new scheme, we successfully stopped 30,000 scam items that had come from France from reaching our customers. Since implementation, Royal Mail has sent back around 460,000 suspect mail items to the originating senders.

In the future, we are looking to launch a dedicated piece of research into scam mail in order to raise awareness of the issue and encourage communities to help us shut it down.

On an international level, we are working to engage individual posts across the EU to encourage them to commit to the same Code of Practice.

Customers who wish to report a concern about scam mail can write to Freepost Scam Mail, email scam.mail@royalmail.com or call our dedicated messaging service on 03456 113413.