Trading standards warn of “real threat”

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ANGUS Council trading standards has issued a warning to householders to be aware of a costly postal scam which is circulating the area, writes Janet Thomson.

They have described the scam, which is costing house-holders hundreds of pounds, as a “real threat”, particularly in the countdown to Christmas.

An e-mail warning local residents about the scam is currently doing the rounds.

It warns of a card being posted through doors from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a Premium rate number).

The e-mail, which has been confirmed by Royal Mail, advises people not to call this number as the mail is a scam originating from Belize.

The e-mail, which was sent to the Dispatch office, states that if you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message, you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, you are asked to contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655.

More information is available from the Crime Stoppers website: http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/crime-prevention/helping-prevent-crime/scams/postal-delivery-scam

When contacted last week about this latest scam targeting local households, a spokesperson for Angus Council trading standards said: “This scam surfaced last year and appears to be a real threat.

“Consumers are increasingly using distance selling to purchase goods and receive the goods by post or courier service and therefore increasingly vulnerable to such scams. If anyone receives such a card, they should on no account phone the number. Wherever the scam originates, it is likely to be an organised crime group that is behind it. For further advice, contact trading standards via the council’s ACCESSLine on 08452 777 778.”

Meanwhile, Angus Council trading standards service hosted a postal scam publicity launch in association with the Think Jessica Campaign last week which was attended by local authority trading standards services, social work and health, housing, National Health Service, Scottish Police Service, voluntary and private organisations.

Angus Council environmental and consumer protection spokesperson Councillor David May said: “All too many vulnerable people are taken in by postal scams, which can deprive them of significant sums of money.”