Royal Mail is stepping up its fight against scam mail – a practice which costs UK consumers an estimated £10bn a year – by pro-actively alerting households which it believes are receiving high volumes of rogue letters via Special Delivery.
Tests for the service launched in November last year, with the postal giant claiming to have successfully stopped more than 700,000 scam items from reaching customers; now the project is to be rolled out nationwide.
The latest initiative will initially focus on the most affected customers but will be extended in due course.
Royal Mail says it will block and impound scam mail at its major distribution centres before it reaches the customers’ letterboxes. Legitimate business and personal mail will continue to be delivered to the customer in the usual way.
Customers will be able to contact a dedicated helpline for more information if they have any concerns or arrange a home visit from staff.
Separately, working with an overseas postal operator, letters sent by UK residents to a known scam operation in Europe have been successfully intercepted. The letters, which contained cash sums, are being returned to the householders.
Late last year the company launched an industry-wide code of practice, supported by firms including Whistl and UK Mail to crack down on scam mail. This includes quicker sharing of intelligence on potential scams, introduction of anti-scam clauses into bulk mail contracts and engaging at a European level with other postal operators.
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