According to BBC’s investigation, postal workers are being paid to steal bank cards.
The investigation for Inside Out West Midlands revealed that Fraudsters had been enticing staff of Royal Mail using online advertisements, with some offering to pay £1,000 a week to intercept mail containing cards and PINs.
According to UK Finance, more than 11,000 people had their bank cards stolen in transit in 2016, costing issuers of the cards around £12.5m.
Royals Mail refused to reveal how many workers had been proven guilty of this crime but the company informed the BBC that “the theft of mail is very rare.”
A journalist from the BBC went undercover by pretending to be a postman and responding to an ad offering £1,000 a week to block letters.
The journalist met with a member of a gang in Lewisham, who said to him: “We’re going to tell you, for example, that Ms *****, she’s going to have a letter from NatWest,” the BBC reported.
“Any letters from NatWest for Ms *****, intercept. As simple as that.
“If you open up a new account you’re going to get your card and you’re going to get your PIN, right? Two letters, that’s all it is.
“We do that, you intercept the letters, bring them back to us, you get paid.”
According to the unidentified gang member, a gang in Birmingham has been in operations for 30 years. He also said that leader has “been in the game for 30 years.”
“He’s worked with a number of postmen,” continued the gang member.
“I’ve worked with two. One was in the Midlands – Coventry – and one was on the outskirts of London, Romford area.
“But my guy, he lives in Birmingham and I obviously do the work, he sorts out the other side.”
The economic and frauds teams of the West Midlands Police said that they are not aware of the finding of the BBC and it has not had any reports regarding this kind of fraud.
However, when the BBC journalist confronted the contact, he ran away.
Since the Royal Mail was privatised in 2013, figures reveal that 1,759 workers from the Royal Mail were convicted of theft between 2007 and 2011.
UK Finance informed the BBC that it works with Royal Mail to target these kinds of gangs.
“We do have our own police unit and they target organised criminality,” head of fraud detection at UK Finance, Katy Worobec, stated.
“They try and get the people who are actually organising the criminality behind the scene.
“Once you’ve taken that part of the gang out, the thing falls apart.”
A spokesperson from the Royal Mail informed the Standard: “Royal Mail notes that the Inside Out programme’s findings do not include any evidence of Royal Mail employees being involved in the alleged fraud. We take all instances of fraud – alleged or actual – very seriously.
“Our security team is reviewing the programme’s findings as a matter of urgency and will continue our close and ongoing cooperation with the relevant law enforcement agency.
“The overwhelming majority of postmen and women do all they can to protect the mail and deliver it safely. The safety and security of mail is of the utmost importance to Royal Mail.
“We deliver millions of items safely every day and the theft of mail is rare. The business operates a zero tolerance approach to any dishonesty. We prosecute anyone we believe has committed a crime.”