300 Dutch PO Boxes, some used to send out millions of postal scams to Warwickshire residents and receive cash from victims have been shut down, Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service has announced.
Warwickshire Trading Standards Officers compiled a list of 70 Dutch PO Box addresses being used to send out scam mail (including bogus clairvoyant letters and prize draw winner’s notifications). The addresses were gathered primarily from the scam mail victims the service has supported.
The addresses were then supplied to the UK’s National Scams Team who worked with the United States Dept. of Justice and Dutch law enforcement to shut down the scam mail fraudsters. 300 Dutch PO Boxes were closed, 178 of which were being used to receive cash directly from UK scam victims! Eight premises were also raided and millions in assets were seized.
Warwickshire County Councillor John Horner, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “Trading Standards Officers have been working with UK postal services for a long time, identifying the victims of scam mail and taking action to prevent those very vulnerable people being scammed further. However, this is the first time that the service has been able to take the fight abroad, to those sending the scam mail out.”
Warwickshire County Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee added: “This July is national Scams Awareness Month and Trading Standards Officers will be raising awareness of postal scams and how to spot and avoid falling victim to them.”
Postal Scams Five Top Tips
• Stopping information about you being collected or sold will reduce your exposure to postal scam fraudsters. Avoid filling out marketing surveys or questionnaires.
• If you receive junk mail with a return address on the envelope, write ‘unsolicited mail, please return to sender’ on the envelope and put it back in the post unstamped.
• Go ex-directory. Remove your name from the Edited Electoral Register and online telephone directories such as 192.com.
• Register with the Mailing Preference Service: www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/
• Put a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your letterbox.
Read about the latest scams: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
Warwickshire residents wishing to make a consumer complaint can do so by contacting Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Consumer Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.