Trading Standards & Royal Mail join forces against scams

Royal Mail and Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service have joined forces to tackle scam mail in the postal system.

In August officers from Devon & Somerset Trading Standards held a dedicated scams training session for seventy members of staff at the Royal Mail sorting office in Taunton.

The training revealed that high levels of scam mail are in circulation locally, as well as low value goods being delivered in exchange for money sent to scam companies.

Royal Mail staff know that some of their customers find it difficult to cope with large amounts of mail and hope that closer working with colleagues from trading standards will enable them to help these customers to recognise and deal with postal scams and other types of financial abuse.

Further help will be offered to 23 possible victims of mass marketing mail scams identified during the visit. The National Trading Standards Scams Team will help determine whether these mailings are fraudulent and alert Royal Mail, in an initiative aimed ultimately at cancelling the postal contracts of companies who send fraudulent mail.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service, said: “By working together with Royal Mail, locally via Trading Standards and nationally via the National Scams Team, we can show the scammers that their antics will no longer be tolerated.”

Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “Raising scams awareness, and tackling scams at all stages of their dissemination represents our best chance of preventing future victims. Current victims will be offered the support they need to break free from the scams cycle by our dedicated team of officers.”

To report any kind of fraudulent activity or to get advice about a consumer problem you can contact the Citizens Advice consumer service by calling 03454 04 05 06. For more information on Scams and how to spot them, or to take our free online scams and doorstep crime awareness training please visit www.devonsomersettradingstandards.gov.uk

If you are receiving potentially fraudulent mail you can also report it by writing to Royal Mail at Freepost Scam Mail, by calling them on 03456 113 413 or by email at scam.mail@royalmail.com.

Notes to editors

Got a Devon & Somerset Trading Standards query? Contact David Beasley at Devon County Council by phoning 01392 382558 or emailing media@devon.gov.uk