STAMP THIS OUT

Busi­ness­man’s anger as stamp fraud costs him

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Strat­ton Wil­liams

A Wishaw busi­ness­man has been hit hard in the pocket after a shop­keeper in the town sold him fake stamps.

The man bought £70 worth of first class stamps from Life­style Ex­press on Main Street.

“I used some of them to send out in­voices to clients for work I had car­ried out,” said the busi­ness owner, who did not wish to be named.

“But I started to won­der what had hap­pened when the money I ex­pected didn’t come in.

“It was only when a client I knew well came in and told me he had to go to the post de­pot in Nether­ton to col­lect the let­ter be­cause it had been marked as un­paid due to coun­ter­feit stamp­ing that I re­alised some­thing was wrong.

“What made it worse, was that the cus­tomer had to pay a £2 sur­charge to get the let­ter from Royal Mail.”

The man also be­lieves that his busi­ness has suf­fered as a re­sult.

He said: “I think a lot of peo­ple would not have gone to the de­pot to col­lect the let­ter be­cause they sus­pect it is junk mail and be­cause they would have to pay a sur­charge to get it.”

And he warned the public to be aware of what can hap­pen when they are mak­ing pur­chases.

“I mean, who would ever think that Royal Mail stamps are fake?” he said.

The busi­ness­man claims that Royal Mail told him that there are thou­sands of fakes in cir­cu­la­tion and they are look­ing into the mat­ter.

When the Wishaw Press called at Life­style Ex­press, the owner, Us­man Hameed, ini­tially claimed that he did not sell stamps and had never sold stamps.

But he then quickly changed his po­si­tion and in­sisted he al­ways bought the stamps he sold from rep­utable out­lets.

When pressed, he then con­ceded that he had bought some from a man who came into his shop.

“It’s a mys­tery to me how this has hap­pened but I think if any I sold were fake, then that may be the source of them,” added Mr Hameed, 32.

The shop owner also went on to apol­o­gise for any in­con­ve­nience he had caused.

“I clearly did not know, or have any rea­son to sus­pect, any stamps were fake but I am ex­tremely sorry if any­body had trou­ble be­cause of it,” he said.

A Royal Mail spokesper­son said: “Royal Mail rec­om­mends that cus­tomers al­ways buy their stamps from rep­utable Royal Mail ap­proved out­lets.

“If in doubt, stamps are avail­able in Post Of­fices through­out the UK and on­line at www.royal­mail.com.

“Our se­cu­rity fea­tures in­clude: die cuts within the body of the stamps; the words ‘Royal Mail’ printed in a spe­cial ink across the sur­face of the stamp and wider oval per­fo­ra­tions along both sides, close to the base of the stamp.

“We also have bands of phos­phor printed on the stamp for op­er­a­tional rea­sons and these are dif­fi­cult to coun­ter­feit.

“Royal Mail takes any at­tempt to de­fraud it ex­tremely se­ri­ously and will ac­tively in­ves­ti­gate to find the source of the coun­ter­feit stamps.

“If in doubt al­ways report any sus­pi­cious stamps to Royal Mail Cus­tomer Ser­vices for us to in­ves­ti­gate.”

Dodgy A book of fake stamps and, above, one of the let­ter re­jected by the Royal Mail

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