Royal Mail say they take the issue of scam mail very seriously and are coordinating an industry-wide response to tackle fraudulent mail at its source.
They have developed an industry-wide code of practice and invited all mail operators in the UK to sign-up. This code sets out how the industry can actively work together, and with law enforcement agencies, to tackle the scourge of scam mail.
The Code of Practice
Companies signing up to the code of practice will voluntarily commit to meeting the following obligations:
Actively work together and with law enforcement agencies, to tackle the scourge of scam mail
Proactively share intelligence of confirmed scam mailings and suspected scam mailings
Terminate any mailing identified by law enforcement agencies as being used to attempt to scam the recipients
Include anti-scam terms and conditions in contracts
Forge closer ties with law enforcement agencies and the broader communications community to prevent scams through letters, electronic communications, telephone calls and other means
Provide help and support for victims of scams by sharing information received in our enquiries with appropriate partners including the National Trading Standards Scams Team, law enforcement and other agencies.
The Freepost address is below where you can send the form along with the original envelope and any items of mail you have received that are relevant.
Alternatively, let them know your full name, address and a contact telephone number via the email or telephone options below and they will send you a form to complete together with a prepaid addressed envelope in which to return the form with examples of the scam mail received.
By post: FREEPOST SCAM MAIL
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Telephone: 03456 113 413 (message service only)
As the largest deliverer of spam and scam letters, it was high time the Royal Mail did something to stop the flood of such items, especially to vulnerable people.
Let’s hope this permanently blocks a large chunk of the spam and scam items.
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Royal Mail don’t advertise this service as they make a great deal of money from delivering Marketing mail..
Roger Annies was asked by his customers how to stop the junk mail and he created his own leaflet and distributed it to his customers. Mr Annies was disciplined after Royal Mail bosses discovered he had delivered his own leaflet to houses on his south Wales round highlighting the little-known opt-out clause which can stop unwanted mailshots.
He was suspended on full pay but the subsequent publicity led tens of thousands of people to join the direct mail rebellion. After a national outcry over this, he was reinstated, but was told he would not get his old round back and was relegated to a sorting office job.
The Direct Marketing Association said 200,000 extra people had signed up to the Mailing Preference Service, which removes people’s details from companies’ mailing lists, in the month after Mr Annies delivered his leaflet.
Royal Mail said it did not have specific figures but its switchboard had been jammed with callers wanting to find out how to stop so-called “door to door” items.
Mr Annies drafted his leaflet after being inundated with complaints about junk mail. The note read: “You may have noticed your postman now has to deliver anonymous advertising material called door to door items. This means a lot more unwanted post in your letterbox. “You might be interested in reducing your unwanted mail and reduce paper usage in order to help save the environment. If you complete the slip below and send it to the Royal Mail delivery office you will no longer receive door to door advertising items.”
Royal Mail deliver letters and parcels to your door every day, but they also drop lots of leaflets and other unaddressed mail through your letterbox.
They have an opt-out service you can sign up to stop them leaving you this stuff, but you don’t see this service advertised ever. They make too much money from leafleting for them to advertise how to stop it.
Royal Mail say their Door-to-Door Opt-Out is a free service that will stop unsolicited, unaddressed mail delivered by the postman. Signing up to the scheme is the single most effective measure you can take to reduce junk mail.
Now Royal Mail has never done much to promote its opt-out scheme for leaflets and as a result few people know it even exists. Yet, the opt-out scheme will prevent leaflets in with your post, these are mostly from household name companies such as Virgin Media, BT, Sky, Talk Talk, Farmfoods, Pizza places, Morrisons and sometimes local companies.
There are two types of junk mail
direct mail addressed to an individual
door to door mail marked for “the occupier”
It’s the second type that this opt out can remove but the first type will always get through. The Royal Mail say that ‘The Occupier’ type mail is only 25% of the total junk mail.
How to Register
On the Royal Mail website, search on “opt out” and you’ll find how to download the PDF form you must fill in and return to Royal Mail. After two years, Royal Mail will kindly take you off the opt out list without reminding you. So you need to regularly re-register.
The Direct Marketing Association says more than a third of recipients respond “positively” to direct mail, so perhaps some of it is useful.