When Action Desk received a call about a postal scam warning circulating in Sheffield we immediately looked into it.
The worried resident said it was a postal scam from a company called PDS – Parcel Delivery Service – and our readers should be warned.
However, after a little digging it was discovered the warning is actually a hoax.
The warning, often circulated by email, reads: “Can you circulate this around especially as Christmas is fast approaching – it has been confirmed by Royal Mail, The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam.
“A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS, Parcel Delivery Service, suggesting they were unable to deliver a parcel and you need to contact them on 0906 6611911, a Premium rate number.
“Do not call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message, you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.
“If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 72396655.”
PhonepayPlus, previously called ICSTIS, which regulates premium rate phone numbers and services in the UK, said it is aware of the warning about an alleged scam.
The organisation said the warning refers to a service shut down by PhonepayPlus in December 2005 and the company operating it, called Studio Telecom, was fined £10,000.
The statement added: “The service is no longer running and has not been running since December 2005.
“You do not need to contact PhonepayPlus, or the Royal Mail, about this service as it was stopped almost eight years ago. If you receive a copy of the email warning you about the alleged scam, please do not forward it to others. Instead, please forward this statement from PhonepayPlus.
“If you receive a delivery card through your letterbox which you do not believe is genuine and which asks you to dial a premium rate number, you can contact PhonepayPlus on 0800 500212, Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm, for further guidance.
“For more detailed information about PhonepayPlus’ work, please visit www.phonepayplus.org.uk”