10 July 2020
myroyalmail is updated daily

Scam Mail

scam mail

Royal Mail is committed to stopping scam mail, which often targets the most vulnerable.

Scam mail can include invitations to take part in lotteries with fake prizes or letters from people posing as clairvoyants. Lists of contact or bank account details are often sold and shared between scammers.

Targets of scam mail can suffer from poor physical or mental health. Some build up debts by sending cash to fraudsters or see their funds siphoned off by criminals to whom they have given their bank account details. 

Scam mail:

  • Differs from normal advertising mail – its targets are often asked to part with money to secure a non-existent deal, free gift or prize win
  • Is illegal mail under the Fraud Act or UK consumer protection legislation - it includes false or misleading offers of a reward against an upfront payment
  • Targets the most vulnerable – the typical scam mail target is 74 and lives alone, with 53% of scam mail letters targeted at over 65s.

What Royal Mail is doing

We take the problem of scam mail very seriously. Working with police and the relevant authorities to tackle scam mail is high on Royal Mail’s list of priorities.

Royal Mail has stopped approximately 5 million items of scam mail from reaching their destination since November 2016. We are getting better at identifying, reporting and halting scam mail.  We want to become even better.

We have worked with the National Trading Standards Scams Team to train our delivery people to identify scam mail, led the industry to launch a new code of practice on scam mail, impounded scam mail at distribution centres and created an e-learning module about scam mail for colleagues.

What you can do and where to go for help

If you suspect that someone is the target of scam mail, you should:

Call the free scam mail helpline on: 0800 0113 466

Email: scam.mail@royalmail.com


E-learning: an e-learning module for managers is available on PSP here Please note that the link is only accessible from a Royal Mail computer. 


Scam mail timeline

November 2016

Royal Mail announced the coordination of an industry-wide response to tackle fraudulent mail at its source, including the launch of a code of practice, developed alongside other postal operators.

March 2017

We announced changes to the terms and conditions governing bulk mail contracts. The changes enabled us to follow up solid intelligence and refuse to carry mail that is suspected to be fraudulent.

April 2017

We contact households receiving high volumes of scam mail by special delivery. Under the initiative, Royal Mail blocks and impounds scam mail at its major distribution centres before it reaches the customer's letterbox. Legitimate business and personal mail continue to be delivered to the customer in the usual way.