Postal staff are to be used at the forefront of the on-going fight against the rising tide of scam mail.
Over the last few years there has been a huge increase in the number of people targeted by these conmen, often resulting in much misery for the victims, many of whom are elderly residents.
Letters which contain cash sums are being intercepted and returned to unwitting victims
Now in a unique initiative, Royal Mail has launched a major new scheme to protect consumers from rogue correspondence.
Since November, the company has successfully stopped more than 700,000 scam items from reaching its customers and now the project is to be rolled out across the region.
As part of its ongoing battle against the fraudsters, Royal Mail will begin pro-actively contacting - by Special Delivery - households it believes are receiving high volumes of scam mail.
The latest anti-scam initiative will initially focus on most-impacted customers and will be extended in due course.
Royal Mail will block and impound scam mail at its major distribution centres before it reaches the customer’s letterbox.
Legitimate business and personal mail will continue to be delivered to the customer in the usual way.
Impacted customers will be able to contact a dedicated helpline for more information if they have any concerns or arrange a home visit from staff.
Separately, working with an overseas postal operator, letters sent by UK residents to a known scam operation in Europe have been successfully intercepted.
The letters, which contained cash sums, are being returned to the householders.
The initiative is the latest in their rolling programme of moves designed to confound and stop scammers from reaching customers.
Late last year the company launched an industry-wide code of practice, supported by firms including Whistl and UK Mail to crack down on scam mail.
This includes quicker sharing of intelligence on potential scams, introduction of anti-scam clauses into bulk mail contracts and engaging at a European level with other postal operators.