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Postal scams

Nearly half of people in the UK have been targeted by a scam. One of the ways that scammers commonly contact people is through the post. Learn how to protect yourself.

As the techniques that scammers use get more sophisticated, it can be difficult to spot the difference between scam mail, junk mail and offers from legitimate companies.

Here is how you can protect yourself from postal scams:

  • Contact the Mailing Preference Service to have your name taken off direct mailing lists in the UK (this won’t cover mail that is unaddressed or from overseas)
  • Put a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your door
  • If you receive something you think may be a scam, don’t respond, as this can cause you to get more letters
  • If you have received or are receiving something that looks like scam mail, talk about it to someone you trust such as a friend or family member, or call Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65.

For more information about postal scams, download our free guide Avoiding scams (PDF 327 KB) or contact Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65 to order a copy.

What to do if you’re the victim of a scam

Although many people feel embarrassed about falling for a scam, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Fraudsters have a range of techniques to trick people and are trying new scams all the time.

Contact Action Fraud immediately if you think you’ve been scammed, so they can try to track down the fraudster, and ensure that other people don’t go through the same experience.

If you’re concerned about whether a scheme is legal, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service for advice.

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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