The Board of the Strategic Mailing Partnership (SMP) has offered its full support to tackling the scourge of illegal scam mail.

Scam Mail is mail that breaches either the Fraud Act and/or UK Consumer Protection legislation by targeting some of the most vulnerable members of society with offers and rewards requiring an upfront payment. These typically include syndicated foreign lotteries, fake legacies and prize draws which lead the recipient to believe they have already won a substantial cash prize.

Since launching the Industry Scam Mail Code of Practice in October 2016, Royal Mail reports it has stopped more than two million fraudulent items from reaching UK households.

To show its backing in the fight to stamp out scam mail, the SMP has a Board member on the new Industry Forum, chaired by National Trading Standards, and, on behalf of its members, has unanimously agreed to adhere to the Industry Code of Practice to share intelligence of scam mailings and work together with law enforcement agencies to terminate any illegal content.

Judith Donovan CBE, Chair of the SMP, said: “The SMP takes the threat of scam mail very seriously as it can have devastating effects on our customers, businesses, livelihoods, family and friends.

“Scam mail targets the vulnerable and can have terrible repercussions. It’s something we don’t want associated with mail and we are committed to help combat this issue.”

Over 5,000 Royal Mail delivery staff have received training by the National Trading Scams Team at delivery offices across the UK.

John Kitchen, Commercial Programme Manager, Consumer and Network Access at Royal Mail, said: “Royal Mail is totally committed to doing all it can to tackle the issue of scam mail. We are working with our partners and law enforcement agencies to take further steps to stop such mail entering our network.

“Having the SMP on-board in our mission to tackle scam mail is fantastic and, by working together, we can ensure that advertising mail is not tainted by the small proportion of illegal mailings which seek to target the vulnerable in society.”

The industry Scam Mail Code of Practice, launched on 17th October 2016, states that signatories should:
• Actively work together, and with law enforcement agencies, to tackle the scourge of scam mail
• Proactively share intelligence of confirmed scam mailings and suspected scam mailings
• Terminate any mailing identified by law enforcement agencies as being used to attempt to scam the recipients
• Include anti-scam terms and conditions in contracts
• Forge closer ties with law enforcement agencies and the broader communications community to prevent scams through letters, electronic communications, telephone calls and other means
• Provide help and support for victims of scams by sharing information received in our enquiries with appropriate partners including the

National Trading Standards Scams Team, law enforcement and other agencies.

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