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Royal Mail investigating barcoded stamps after GB News exposed ‘counterfeit’ stamp scandal

Royal Mail is investigating problems with new barcoded stamps, after a GB News investigation found Britons are being charged £5 for their post, despite the senders insisting they bought the stamps from a reputable source.

GB News has highlighted numerous instances from all over the country, where Britons have bought first and second-class stamps from Post Office, shops in Post Offices and small supermarkets.

However, Post Office has said Post Office Ltd receives its stamps direct from Royal Mail’s secure printers.

Following a meeting on Tuesday between Post Office Minister Kevin Hollinrake and Royal Mail chief executive, Royal Mail has reportedly committed to investigating the issue.

While a formal investigation is not understood to have been launched, Royal Mail assured the minister it is working with retailers including Post Office to identify the “source of the problem”.

Mr Hollinrake told The Telegraph: “We spoke to Royal Mail and they are investigating and they are working alongside the Post Office and other retailers to try and ascertain the source of the problem.”

Have you been affected by this issue? Get in touch by emailing money@gbnews.uk.

Royal Mail has deemed dozens of stamps “counterfeit” but the sender insists they bought it from Post Office


A Royal Mail spokesman said: “When a customer reports to us that they bought a stamp from a retailer that is subsequently found to be counterfeit, we will always look into the circumstances of that case.

“We also work closely with retailers and law enforcement agencies, and actively seek the prosecution of those who produce counterfeit stamps. We reaffirmed that policy to the minister today.”

A Post Office spokesperson previously told GB News: “Stamps are available to buy from a number of different sources. Post Office Ltd receives its stamps direct from Royal Mail’s secure printers.

“Customers who buy stamps at Post Offices are given an itemised receipt, and this is required to investigate any allegations of fake stamps.”

Barcoded stamps were first introduced by Royal Mail in February 2022.

They have since fully replaced non-barcoded stamps, which are no longer valid for postage.

Royal Mail said the move was part of the company’s “extensive and ongoing modernisation drive”.

They said it would “allow the unique barcodes to facilitate operational efficiencies, enable the introduction of added security features and pave the way for innovative services for customers”.

Envelope shows Royal Mail deemed second-class stamp as "counterfeit" and applied a u00a35 surcharge

Recipients have to pay £5 to get the letter if the stamp is deemed “counterfeit” by Royal Mail


A Royal Mail spokesperson previously said: “Royal Mail takes the counterfeiting of postage stamps seriously. The practice is illegal.

“We also recognise the inconvenience and financial loss incurred by our customers who believe they are purchasing legitimate Royal Mail stamps.

“It is vital we can investigate any instance where a person believes their stamps have been incorrectly identified as counterfeit or pre-used.

“To do this, we require any customer who believes they have been incorrectly surcharged to send the envelope with the barcoded stamp attached to us, along with the exact location of where the stamp was purchased.

“We then follow a robust, multistage process when assessing whether barcoded stamps are genuine. This includes a thorough examination using specialist equipment, then a follow-up inspection by a skilled member of the team, before any stamp is marked as counterfeit or pre-used.

“We will always happily review individual cases and if an error has been made then we will of course correct it.”

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