Royal Mail responds to Daily Mail scam claims

Royal Mail has made a formal response to the claims made in the Daily Mail that it had been failing to crack down on scam mail organisations using its network to contact vulnerable people.

In an official statement, Royal Mail said that it has “closely examined” the list of companies suspected by the Daily Mail of sending scam mail and has already passed it to the National Trading Standards Scams Team so that they can investigate further.

The company explained its position: “Royal Mail does not knowingly distribute mail from fraudsters. We do all we can to stop scam mail by working with a broad range of enforcement agencies. Since 2014, we have terminated contracts where companies have been proven to be operating scam mail. This has prevented an estimated 22 million items from reaching UK households and businesses. We simply do not want to handle scam mail or make any money from this terrible activity.

“We have also contacted Whistl and other postal companies, which submit mail into our network. We have asked them to review any suspect contracts as a matter of urgency. We will follow up with them and confirm the action they have taken.

“We are legally required to deliver all addressed mail to the UK’s 29 million addresses, whether this mail comes from home or abroad. As the UK’s designated Universal Service Provider, we are also legally required to deliver mail that Whistl and a number of other postal operators put into our network. It is against the law for Royal Mail to open mail that is in transit. That would raise serious privacy concerns.

“As part of Royal Mail’s general terms and conditions, our customers are required to ensure mail items meet all relevant laws and regulations. They must specifically comply with UK consumer law. We are committed to terminating contracts with companies that distribute fraudulent mail as soon as we receive evidence from relevant law enforcement agencies.”

Royal Mail then pointed out the steps that it has already taken on scam mail: “We devote considerable resources to tackling this issue. In 2014, we set up a joint initiative with the National Trading Standards Scams Team to create a new, improved process for terminating the contracts of companies that send fraudulent mail. We have a dedicated reporting system for both employees and customers to identify and stop scam mail. Officers from Trading Standards have held dedicated training sessions at Royal Mail delivery offices across the UK. This training aims to improve awareness of scam mail among thousands of postmen and women so that they can report suspect items.”

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