Scamwatch: letter box fraud

Watch out for fake letter boxes appearing on your home...

close up of man's hand taking...

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, a new postal scam with which fake letter boxes are placed outside people's homes to intercept their mail.

How does it work?

A number of homeowners in the Manchester area have reported finding fake letter boxes stuck to their homes.

Police are currently investigating whether the letter boxes were placed there by fraudsters trying to steal mail such as bank statements and utility bills that could then be used to steal their victims' identities.

Greater Manchester Police said: "We are investigating an incident that was reported to us where postboxes are potentially being used to intercept bank mail and other personal information."

How can I avoid being caught out?

Homeowners are being warned to keep an eye out for unexplained letter boxes appearing on or near their properties - or for signs that something has been stuck to the wall.

Other steps you can take to avoid being affected by fraud of this kind include always checking if letters you expect to receive do not turn up.

If you live in the Manchester area, it may also be worth warning your postman that there is a letter box scam doing the rounds.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?

Police in Manchester are encouraging people suspicious of criminal activity to phone them on non-emergency number 101.

If you think letters have been stolen, you should also contact the relevant organisations and change any account details that may have been compromised. Then report it to Action Fraud (0300 123 2040).

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