Each year mass marketing mail scams, which often target vulnerable or disadvantaged consumers, cause approximately £3.5 billion worth of detriment to UK consumers.
The National Trading Standards Scams Team helps tackle mass marketing scams and disrupts the operations of perpetrators behind mail scams. It works in partnership with agencies across the country to identify and support victims of mass marketing fraud. The team provides guidance, best practice and establishes a centre of excellence to assist local authorities in supporting local victims and taking local enforcement action.
The team in action
The team launched an initiative with Royal Mail and Trading Standards Scotland to create a new process for cancelling the contracts of companies that send fraudulent mail. So far over 6,000 items of mail have been returned as part of the operation in the UK and more than £186,985 has been returned to victims.
Can you spot a scam? Take the online quiz here.
The team has also been working with the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator to ensure that charities do not inadvertently or otherwise support or encourage scams. This guidance for charities is available here.
Reporting scam mail
Potentially fraudulent mail should be reported to Royal Mail:
- Write to Freepost Scam Mail
- Call 03456 113 413
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Scams Team Press Releases
National Trading Standards partners with Home Instead to tackle elderly fraud
23rd May 2016
Vulnerable consumers saved over £5 million
23rd July 2015
Council worker launches national scams team to protect the vulnerable
2nd July 2015
Over £100,000 Returned During Scam Mail Crackdown
15th October 2014
Royal Mail and Trading Standards Launch New Joint Initiative to Tackle Scam Mail
22nd September 2014
The National Trading Standards Work Areas
National Trading Standards has teams overseeing a range of issues, from illegal money lending to copycat websites and doorstep crime.
National Consumer Week 2-6 Nov 2015
Know your rights - the week long campaign run by Citizens Advice and Trading Standards
2014-15 Consumer Harm Report
The inaugural National Trading Standards ‘Consumer Harm Report’ reveals annual data and predicts biggest threats for 2016 including energy, lottery and telephone preference scams.
Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders
National Consumer Week 2014 focused on doorstep crime, which saw the launch of the ‘Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders’ campaign.