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Scam watch: fake missed delivery leaflet

missed delivery

A member received a ‘Something for you’ leaflet, seemingly from the Royal Mail. As he wasn’t expecting a delivery, he was immediately suspicious.

Member Gregory Thomas told us:

‘We received a ‘Something for you’ leaflet through our letterbox, suggesting that we’d missed a delivery from the postman. The leaflet had the same size, layout and colour scheme as those issued by Royal Mail.

‘It asked us to call a phone number to arrange redelivery. We weren’t expecting a package, and the leaflet was missing the Royal Mail logo, which made us suspicious.

‘A quick Google search revealed that these leaflets are being distributed by scammers.’

Our say on fake missed delivery leaflets

Reports suggest that people who call this phone number have been charged up to £45.

Essentially, this is a more sophisticated variation of missed call scams, where you receive a call from a premium-rate phone number, and are charged huge fees if you call it back.

This phone number features an automated recording asking for personal details and a consignment number. Any details given away could potentially be sold on by scammers for identity fraud purposes.

If you’re in doubt about the validity of these type of communications, don’t call the number provided, or give any personal details away. Contact the organisation directly using details listed online.

Those who discover fraudulent communications of this nature, via mail, SMS or email, should report them to Action Fraud.

Have you received a fake missed delivery leaflet through your door? Did you fall for it? What happened?


Can you trust any communication at all these days Email ,phone call or something delivered to you house Trust nothing and nobody until you are certain it is genuine ,then check again Some people must do everything they do as quickly as they can , take time to stop and think carefully beefier accepting any thing as genuine Too many today are just not they first appear to be Beware !!

I admit to an inbuilt reluctance to call any ‘phone number regarding an item which I haven’t ordered. And I simply won’t call premium numbers at all.

It would be interesting to see a photo of the fake leaflet, Joe.

The premium rate number would be obvious to me and like Ian I will not call these numbers.

“Reports suggest that people who call this phone number have been charged up to £45.”

Absolute and utter rubbish. The number on the card is a bog-standard geographic 020 London number. Calls to this number are inclusive in the caller’s allowance, else charged at ‘geographic rate’.

“Essentially, this is a more sophisticated variation of missed call scams, where you receive a call from a premium-rate phone number, and are charged huge fees if you call it back.”

No it isn’t. See the above.

This story was covered in almost every national, regional and local newspaper about a month ago. Almost all of them repeated the false claims about call charges and very few actually looked into what was really going on.

Hats off to The Times who were the only one to print the correct details. The truth is more interesting.

“This phone number features an automated recording asking for personal details and a consignment number. ”

The number called is owned by bailiffs seeking to get hold of phone numbers for people who owe money.

These cards are dropped through the door of those people and each contains a unique reference number. That “consignment number” allows them to match up the phone number of the caller shown on their caller display unit with the card they dropped. Asking for the caller’s name allows them to check they have got the right person, that the person they wanted to contact still lives at that address.

This seems unethical and there may be data protection issues here.

Full images of the “fake” card can be found online very quickly having been posted on various social media sites – along with the numerous demonstrably false claims that have been passed on with zero fact checking.

: ( But it was on Facebook and therefore must be true!

According to Private Eye several previously reputable newspapers now monitor social media for instant stories to put on their websites. Which? waited six weeks to run the story[?] but it appears that there was more to it than met the eye in August.

It’s totally fake. It originated in 2005 and has been constantly repeated in spam emails ever since. It has never happened. Even the normally useless Ofcom issued a statement stating that it impossible for a single call to cost such ludicrous sums stated. This is the scam that never existed.
The national papers, the police and now Which? are perpetuating this myth.

The current warning has absoutely nothing to do with the 2005 scam.

The 2005 scam saw cards show up supposedly from PDS advising recipients to call an 09 number about a parcel to be delivered. There was no parcel. Callers were held in a queue for a long time, thereby earning revenue for the scammers, before being cut off.

That scam was closed down in 2005 or 2006.

The original warning about that scam warned that calls could cost up to 15 pounds. Unfortunately the pound sign rendered on some browsers as %A3 instead of a pound sign.

This meant the warning said that calls cost up to %A315 which was widely misread as 315 pounds.

That corrupted warning has continued to be distributed long after the scam was closed down. No doub it will appear again later this year. It often reappears in the run up to Christmas.

That scam is ancient history and the details can be found on the PSA website and in more detail on Snopes.

The current warning is entirely unrelated. The current warning is about cards asking people to call a London 020 landline number. This was been widely misreported as being a premium rate numberalong with the ludicrous suggestion that calls cost 45 pounds.

The cards appear to originate from bailiffs trying to trick debtors into revealing their telephone number.

Please find substantiated proof that ANYONE has fallen for this so-called trick and lost £45 (or any other unreasonable charge)?
I repeat: it has never happened, it cannot happen.

I have mixed views on the use of this ruse by bailiffs. They, debt collectors, and private investigators have, for years, used all manner of dubious practices in order to winkle information out of people. Their chief weapons are fear, surprise and ignorance, the last being particularly relevant in this case. How many people know exactly what a Royal Mail ‘Something for you’ card actually looks like? If you don’t get one from one year to the next how can you be sure a new design has not been introduced? Or whether the Royal Mail logo is a constant feature [and that has changed several times over the years]?

If this technique is genuinely only used for tracing and identifying debtors and defaulters I don’t really have much objection. It is unethical [and therefore possibly objectionable] in the sense that it relies on a falsehood, but sometimes the ends do justify the means and the whole of society benefits if people pay their debts if required to do so by a court order [hence the employment of bailiffs]. Trickery by other debt collectors and private investigators is not legitimate in my view because, without a court order, it involves harassment and duress.

I remain mystified by the £45 phone call charge as I cannot see how this is generated by the caller if it is to a standard line number, as Ian [with the purple badge above] points out.

It is not always possible to be sure whether or not a package is in the delivery system. The goods we have received were not always things we had ordered or were expecting – ranging from giant tubes containing calendars from companies, bottles of champagne or other liquor, and even packets of mince pies!

When we do get a Royal Mail ‘Something for you’ card I always arrange the redelivery on-line; that is a sure way of flushing out a spurious reference number and would cause alarm bells to ring, but then I hope I will never be on the radar of a bailiff, debt collector, or private investigator.

Guys the answer is phone calls, missed packages etc suspect everything long gone are the days’ when honesty ruled Britannia.

There was a day when honesty ruled Britannia? Really?