Experts issue urgent warning over fake stamps as scammers pose as Royal Mail

Which? has issued a warning over fake stamps
Which? has issued a warning over fake stamps -Credit:PA

Seven billion letters were handled by Royal Mail carriers between 2022 and 2023 - and while postal volume has decreased over the years due to the digital revolution, people and companies still send mail each day.

In 2022 the Royal Mail added barcodes to stamps in a bid to combat counterfeits, but convincing frauds still continue to be sold due to the scale of the scam.

A recent Telegraph investigation found that four suppliers in China were offering to print a million stamps for as little as 4p each, while websites offered counterfeit stamps with a barcode included. Which? warned last year that scammers had been using online ads and shady websites to sell sheets of second class stamps for £60.

But those who opted for the 'bargain' would hand their personal information and financial details to crooks. The consumer champions have now issued a further warning over fake stamps - from how to spot them and where to buy legitimate ones.

How to spot stamp scams

Stamp scams may not always be obvious, but there are a number of transferrable qualities to look out for which cover other common scams. Which? say that first and foremost, if prices are too good to be true then they probably are, so steer clear of attractive discounts.

The experts also say you should look out for newly created social media accounts by using to see when they were created. Newly set up sites or socials should start to cause alarm bells to ring. You should never trust a site which only accepts payment via bank transfer, as you have little in terms of cover should something go wrong, and you should never be rushed into making a decision by a seller.

Which? also say to look out for:

  • A website address which isn’t associated with the official brand

  • A website that is missing terms and conditions, a privacy policy or contact details (Even if the website does have these, it's not enough to prove that it's legitimate)

  • Bad spelling and grammar, as well as poor imagery

Where to buy stamps

The official Royal Mail site for buying stamps is, but you can also buy stamps from most supermarkets, stationary shops and post offices. Due to new barcoded stamps being rolled out last year, you can no longer send post without one - but you can exchange your old stamps for barcoded ones through the Royal Mail's Stamp Swap Out.

Which? add: "Non-barcoded Christmas stamps and special stamps such as pictorial stamps continue to be valid for postage and do not need to be swapped out."