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Customs payment is it a scam

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David George 122/09/2020 07:44:00
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1386 forum posts
448 photos

I have just had an email from supposedly the Royal Mail headed

Notification REGIONAL CUSTOMS DIRECTORATE.

Saying Your DPD package No *************** shipped on 09/19/2020 is being processed in order to enable us to deliver your package VAT costs will be billed to the importer.

It then goes on to ask me to buy a passage card pin code on line 50 EUR and email this to customs@postoffice-fees.com

is this a scam. I have a poster for granddaughter on order but it isn't due till 23 October cost £15.00 . I have never had to pay anything this dosnt sound right to me.

David

Gordon Tarling22/09/2020 07:50:26
166 forum posts
4 photos

Why would the Royal Mail be contacting you about a DPD package? SCAM!

DiogenesII22/09/2020 08:03:09
146 forum posts
56 photos

It sounds like a scam.. I'm pretty sure £15 items are exempt from duty;

https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad/tax-and-duty

David Noble22/09/2020 08:15:57
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218 forum posts
9 photos

I think it's a scam too. Whenever I've had to pay a customs charge, the item was taken to the local post office where I had to go to pay for and collect it.

David

John Rutzen22/09/2020 08:19:21
282 forum posts
16 photos

It's a scam, ignore it. The only time I had to pay customs duty then the Post Office dropped a card through my door and I had to go and collect it and pay. They charge you £8 for the privilege. If it's less than about £50 they don't seem to bother collecting it usually.

DiogenesII22/09/2020 08:21:33
146 forum posts
56 photos

..Same here - a note from my Postie telling me to collect from depot, duty where payable was inline with VAT and charged at collection..

Clive Foster22/09/2020 08:27:28
2465 forum posts
81 photos

Certainly a scam.

But Royal Mail do handle "last mile" delivery and customs charge collection for some international carriers.

I bought something from America erlier this year via the E-Bay shipments program. Don't recall who the actual carrier was Stateside.Very expensive and, in my experience, dog slow with exceedingly iffy tracking. Two days to get to the Stateside (non) fulfilment centre where it sat for a fortnight. Then I got a card through the door from Royal Mail saying they had the item at my local sorting office.

Card had instructions for paying customs charges on line. Postie told me they don't do walk ins and pay over the counter now.

Royal Mail tracking was bang on once it hit the UK although it did take me a few minutes to twig that the apparently wrong delivery postcode ;location was the local sorting office.

Clive

Samsaranda22/09/2020 08:54:15
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995 forum posts
5 photos

When I had a delivery from Australia, to my address in UK, I received notification that it was being held at Gatwick and I had to make an online payment to cover the duty and admin costs and then it was released and delivered. Deliveries from China have never attracted any duty costs because irrespective of the value of the item the customs label states contents value as 5 dollars, its the Chinese way of avoiding any customs duty for their customers.
Dave W

Speedy Builder522/09/2020 08:59:00
2143 forum posts
152 photos

I have posted a small gift from France to Australia, gift had no value, but FR post has a minimum value of 1€34 which has to be paid on receipt in OZ (Apparently).

Michael Gilligan22/09/2020 09:15:17
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16633 forum posts
724 photos
Posted by David George 1 on 22/09/2020 07:44:00:
.

I have just had an email from supposedly the Royal Mail […]

.

Try looking at the actual sender details in the eMail header, David

.... I’m pretty sure you will find no connection to Royal Mail.

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 22/09/2020 09:15:44

Hopper22/09/2020 09:16:00
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4882 forum posts
106 photos
Posted by David George 1 on 22/09/2020 07:44:00:...

...It then goes on to ask me to buy a passage card pin code on line 50 EUR and email this to customs@postoffice-fees.com

That email address looks bogus. Royal Mail email addresses end in @royalmail.com

Oldiron22/09/2020 09:50:54
559 forum posts
22 photos

So where did the Post Office get your email address ? The PO deals in £ not Euro. They would ask for a debit or credit card payment not some dubious "card pin". I note that the date is not in the usual UK format. Also "Directorate" is not a word for an agency that we usually use.

So probably a scam.

Might be worth contacting DPD to see if they are aware of this payment method.

regards

Edited By Oldiron on 22/09/2020 09:55:12

John Paton 122/09/2020 10:29:05
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285 forum posts
17 photos

Thanks for raising this David - it helps alert us all to such low life attempts to defraud (including the Chinese evasion of customs Duty which it would appear is rife!!)

jann west22/09/2020 10:38:25
68 forum posts

You can use the public whois service to query the registration details of the domain name - postoffice-fees.com

It was first registered within the last week.

It is, for this and many other reasons, certainly a scam!

Interesting question is how the scammer got your details and knew you had a package en-route! There are various possible answers to that question which range from mildly to quite concerning.

Robin22/09/2020 10:43:03
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369 forum posts

I got the same email. The pay website wkv.com did not sound at all Royal Maily, much too short frown

Nicholas Farr22/09/2020 10:43:56
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2479 forum posts
1198 photos

Hi David, I've just done a search for that customs email address and it takes you to a Royal Mail site, which does come up with the Royal Mail address in the bottom left hand corner when you hover over the links, it has a box for you to enter a reference number, which can be found on your "Fee to Pay" card or if you received one, your SMS/email notification, but it doesn't seem to be directly connected to the Post Office, it is however linked to customs payments and the list of payments are given in GBP not Euros. So the actual email address may be a scam and why, as has been said, would the Royal Mail be concerned with a commercial courier. Like Oldiron says, try contacting DPD and it might be worthwhile contacting Royal Mail also to enquire if they would be connected to such payments. Don't totally ignore it, but check it out before clicking any links. My Norton security didn't flag up any security risks by searching that email address as you have written it.

Regards Nick.

P.S. passage card pin code number, has a connection to door locks, digital ones I presume.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 22/09/2020 11:20:38

SillyOldDuffer22/09/2020 12:59:21
Moderator
6451 forum posts
1421 photos
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 22/09/2020 10:43:56:

Hi David, I've just done a search for that customs email address and it takes you to a Royal Mail site, which does come up with the Royal Mail address in the bottom left hand corner when you hover over the links,...

That's just the search engine doing it's best to find results for 'post office fees'; it's not validating "postoffice-fees.com".

The latter is flashing danger signals.

  • The domain name was allocated by a service that allows anyone to register any unused domain name for a small fee: as I write one of these sites tells me postoffice-fees.com is already allocated but offers PostofficeFees.com, PostofficeFeesOnline.com, and Postoffice-Fees.net instead. A domain name can be had for under £5, though those above are about £20. Cheap and easy to set a scam up.
  • All the domain's registration details have been 'redacted for privacy'. Whoever owns it does not want to be identified, never a good sign.
  • postoffice-fees.com does not own a digital security certificate. This is a RED alert when money is concerned. (Not bothering to encrypt isn't best practice, and conmen don't care!)
  • Royal Mail does not call itself 'post office', nor do they request money by email. Their domain name registration was issued by a reputable provider, not online, and full details are available. They also have a checkable digital security certificate and encrypt.

Not sure these email scam are worth reporting; we are victims, not Royal Mail or DFD. Maybe I'm a terrible cynic but the government reporting scheme doesn't seem to do anything effective about complaints. Help lines are cheap, enforcement expensive... Call the police if you lose money.

Stay safe!

Dave

Neil Wyatt22/09/2020 13:19:39
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Moderator
18320 forum posts
718 photos
77 articles

Do report it to Action Fraud, although i too worry it's just a 'placebo' most of the time I think they act when they get many consistent reports.

Neil

Nicholas Farr22/09/2020 13:50:36
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2479 forum posts
1198 photos

Hi, yes I agree with Dave (SOD). It was the fact that the Royal Mail web page came up and the fact you have to enter a notification code and not send any payment to an email address and no mention of the post office itself, that I was trying to make aware of, plus the P.S. search I put in wouldn't accept "passage card code" on it's own but adding number only lead to things like door lock codes. I suppose "passage card code" can be interpreted as something official for items coming from other countries.

Regards Nick.

old mart22/09/2020 15:32:02
2203 forum posts
164 photos

If that happened to me, I would get in touch with the Royal Mail, and pass the details to their fraud department.

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