Home / Royal Mail / Warning over ‘fake’ Royal Mail stamps after hundreds of Brits wrongly hit with fines to receive letters

Warning over ‘fake’ Royal Mail stamps after hundreds of Brits wrongly hit with fines to receive letters

ROYAL Mail is investigating an issue with barcoded stamps after hundreds of Brits were wrongly fined to receive letters.

People have been slapped with £5 penalties on collecting post as the stamps on them were ruled as counterfeit by the postal service.

4

Barcoded stamps replaced the traditional form in July last yearCredit: Image courtesy of The Postal Museum
Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake has vowed to 'get to the bottom' of the problem

4

Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake has vowed to ‘get to the bottom’ of the problemCredit: AFP
Fraud relating to traditional stamps was costing tens of millions of pounds a year

4

Fraud relating to traditional stamps was costing tens of millions of pounds a yearCredit: Getty

Barcoded stamps were introduced in February 2022 in a bid to reduce postal fraud, said to be costing tens of millions of pounds a year.

But problems emerged after the postal service switched to the system from traditional ink stamping entirely last July.

Postmasters say the allegedly fake stamps were bought from Royal Mail directly.

Martin Seidenberg, the CEO of International Distributions Services, the parent company of Royal Mail, committed to investigating the issue following a meeting yesterday with Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake.

It’s understood an official probe is yet to be launched, but the Royal Mail has vowed to work with retailers, including the Post Office, to identify the “source of the problem”, according to the Telegraph.

Mr Hollinrake told the newspaper: “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.”

He also vowed to “get to the bottom of what has happened” and welcomed the steps taken by the Royal Mail.

Royal Mail insisted last week its processes are “secure” and that “specialist equipment” is used to determine whether a stamp is real.

It also implied that a postmaster of staff member had potentially swapped genuine stamps for counterfeits at one of its branches.

Richard Tringer, the chair of campaign group Voice of The Postmaster, which represents those wrongly convicted during the Horizon scandal, said: “It goes without saying that postmasters do not want to have to deal with false accusations about something else.”

“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.”

Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake

Traditional stamps were stamped with ink to indicate they had been used, however, the Post Office said fraudsters were washing away the postmark and re-selling the used stamps.

Barcoded stamps became mandatory from July 31 last year – but problems came to a head as Christmas cards were being left undelivered or subject to the £5 fines for collection.

Royal Mail’s head of public affairs, David Gold, said at the time “the improvements in efficiency and security” would benefit all customers.

A Post Office spokesperson told The Sun: “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.

“Any allegation that fake stamps have been purchased at a Post Office is extremely serious.

“The implication of such an allegation is that one of our Postmasters, or a member of their staff, has obtained fake stamps and have chosen to sell them to customers rather than selling legitimate stamps that have come from Royal Mail’s secure printers.

“This is why we insist that any customer who thinks they may have purchased a fake stamp from a Post Office must produce an itemised receipt so that this can be looked into further.

“We welcome the recent meeting between Postal Affairs Minister Kevin Hollinrake and Royal Mail to discuss the issue of ‘counterfeit stamps’ and that Royal Mail have reaffirmed their close work with retailers and law enforcement agencies, and that they actively seek the prosecution of those who produce counterfeit stamps.”

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.”

International Distributions Services plc CEO Martin Seidenberg

4

International Distributions Services plc CEO Martin SeidenbergCredit: IDS

Source link

About admin

Check Also

West Ham part-owner Daniel Křetínský in shock bid for Royal Mail parent International Distribution Services

Royal Mail has put forward proposals that would see first class mail kept as a …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *