Beware postal scams and email hoax at Christmas time

Trading Standards would like to warn consumers about fraudulent postal and email scams that could rip you off or allow a virus onto your computer this Christmas time.

Beware postal scams and email hoax at Christmas time

This time of year sees an increase in scams so we would urge everyone to be extra vigilant when opening emails or post they aren't expecting or where they don't recognise the sender.

Hoax emails that are circulating at the moment claim to be from DHL or FedEx are in fact a virus.

These specific emails allege that a package has been returned to the DHL/FedEx office due to an incorrect address. They state that in an attachment is a letter and mailing label that you are asked to print off. The so called mailing label is in fact a computer virus. Do not open the attachment.

Postal scams have been doing the rounds for a number of years. A specific one that originates from outside the UK (Belize), which means it's difficult to stop usually increases during the festive season.

You receive a card in the post usually from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service). They suggest that they have been unable to deliver a parcel ask you to call a 0900 telephone number - this is a premium rate number. If you were to call the number it would cost you a small fortune.

If you receive such a card with details such as these you can contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 723 96655, or contact ICTIS (the premium rate service regulator) at

Cllr Miles Hosken, Cabinet Member for Community Protection and Cohesion, said: "Remember there is scam out there for everyone. Be aware this Christmas time. If you are not expecting a delivery it may be someone trying to cheat you out of your well earned and much needed cash."

If you are uncertain about any mail or think you could be the victim of a scam, contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.