Empty South Yorkshire properties targeted in ‘fake postbox’ fraud

Police have sounded a warning to homeowners after several reports of ‘fake postbox’ fraud at premises across South Yorkshire.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 3:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 3:39 pm
Offenders are sealing up post or letterboxes at empty addresses and installing a new postbox to an external wall.

The incidents have involved offenders sealing up post or letterboxes at empty addresses and installing a new postbox to an external wall.

The scammers then apply for bank accounts, cards and loans and have the paperwork sent to the ‘fake postbox’- which is only accessible to them.

PC Gavin Johnson, from the Fraud Coordination Team, said: “This type of fraudulent activity certainly involves an element of ‘organisation’, as criminals are identifying vulnerable properties in advance.

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“We believe they are targeting rental properties, where tenants may have recently moved out, or houses that are standing empty.

“If you’re a landlord or property developer, we’d advise that you bear this warning in mind and keep an eye on your premises for any signs of damage or new fixtures or fittings that have appeared.”

If you have any concerns that your property might have been targeted, call 101.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.