Trading Standards, Police and Royal Mail join forces to protect residents from scam letters

Typical example of marketing scam

Posted on: 17 February 2017

Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service and Devon and Cornwall Police held a day long workshop at Barnstaple’s Royal Mail delivery office last week, advising 40 members of staff on how to recognise scam mail.

In total, 20 residents in the Barnstaple area were identified as having been being potentially targeted by scams.

Some of the residents were particularly vulnerable and have had difficulty coping with large amounts of post.

Each of these residents were visited by police and trading standards officers and offered help and support.

Some of the postal scams trading standards has encountered include letters from lotteries, sweepstakes and competitions promising a prize in return for a payment.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service, said:

“By working in partnership with the Royal Mail and the police we can together help stop the flow of scam mail and prevent people from being duped.

“We advise householders to be vigilant, protect your identity and report any suspect items of post to the Royal Mail.”

Dave Baker, the Royal Mail’s Delivery Office Manager at Barnstaple, said:

“We actively encourage our people to report any concerns they have about households they suspect are vulnerable to postal scams to their line manager.

“Royal Mail is stepping up its attack on scam mail by coordinating an industry-wide response to tackle fraudulent mail at its source.

“Members of the public who wish to report a concern about scam mail can do so by writing to Freepost Scam Mail.”

Sergeant Sal Ferris from Devon and Cornwall Police’s North and West Devon neighbourhood policing team said:

“Devon and Cornwall Police is delighted to be working with our partners from trading standards and the Royal Mail to reinforce the awareness of identifying potential victims of crime through scams.  By utilising our postal operatives who are an integral part of our varied communities we hope that we will be able to protect the vulnerable members of our communities from threat, risk and harm.

“Local officers are committed to working with our business and service providers to reduce the fear of crime and give people the confidence to know who to contact and how to report concerns.”

Members of the public who wish to report a concern about scam mail can do so by writing to Freepost Scam Mail, emailing scam.mail@royalmail.com or calling the dedicated messaging service on 03456 113413.

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