Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Three million scam letters intercepted in past 18 months – but can you spot a postal scam?

If your post is offering something too good to be true there could be a catch

post box

Royal Mail claims it has intercepted three million scam letters after clamping down on fraudsters 18 months ago.

The mail delivery service launched new initiatives to ‘keep one step ahead of the scammers’, said the managing director of letters, Stephen Agar.

‘We are committed to doing everything we can to stop this fraudulent material from reaching UK households.’

Royal Mail came under fire in 2016 after it was revealed that scam letters printed overseas and then taken to the UK to sort, were then transferred to Royal Mail, which delivered the letters with its logo printed on the envelope.

Can you spot a postal scam?

There are many different types of scam mail, such as fake lotteries and prize draws, get-rich-quick schemes, clairvoyants predicting the future, bogus health cures, investment scams and pyramid selling.

Postal scams typically offer something which sounds too good to be true – and there’s always a catch.

But it’s important to note there is a difference between scam mail and legitimate mail sent by companies to advertise lawful services or the sale of genuine goods.


Use our free guide on how to spot a postal scam.

If you think you’ve already fallen victim to a scammer, use our free guide to report a scam.

What steps has Royal Mail taken?

In November 2016, Royal Mail promised an industry-wide response to tackle fraudulent mail at its source including the launch of a code of practice.

In March 2017, it announced changes to the terms and conditions of bulk mail contracts. This allowed Royal Mail to follow up on solid intelligence by refusing to carry mail that is suspected to be fraudulent.

In April 2017, it began proactively contacting households receiving high volumes of scam mail.

Back to top