A postcard informing that a package containing jewellery could not be delivered would prompt many to call the number printed on the card.
And many who called would not be put off by the fact they would have to stump up £10 to ensure delivery – even though they were expecting no such package.
The promise of a potentially valuable prize or gift, in this case jewellery, for a small fee is classic scammer’s bait. Croydon Council’s trading standards team is warning residents to ignore any such cards, unsolicited letters or calls requesting an upfront fee.
There is evidence that such cards are now appearing in Croydon. The company named on the cards being delivered locally is LSL, but other names may be used.
The householder is directed to dial a particular number, and is then told to pay a £10 fee by credit card, after which the parcel will be delivered. The householder pays up and then waits in vain for a delivery that never arrives.
Jo Negrini, the council’s executive director, place, said: “It’s understandable that anybody receiving a card telling them that a package couldn’t be delivered would consider calling the number on the card.
“However, they should be wary if they don’t remember ordering any goods, or entering any prize draw or competition, especially if they’re asked for money upfront.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry, as, once you make a payment, not only will you have lost the money, but criminals will have your credit card details.”
The advice for anybody who receives a similar delivery card, which they do not believe is genuine, is to call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
Alternatively, they can report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or going to www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
If the card tells them to dial a premium rate number, they should contact PhonepayPlus on 0800 500 212, between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, for further guidance.