Royal Mail Swap Out - Fraudulent stamps

I purchased some sheets of stamps a few years ago before one of the price increases. I've used some of them but many have been sat in a drawer for around 3 years.

I dug them out and sent them back into Royal Mail as part of the swap out scheme in order to get the barcoded stamps in return, but to my surprise, I just received a letter saying that 89 of the 92 stamps I sent in were not genuine so have not been exchanged!

I had no idea at all that these stamps were fraudulent. I paid full price for them at the time and have been using them to send letters occasionally without any issues. But it seems like I have been the victim of a scam (assuming Royal Mail are correct in what they say - which I have no way to prove or disprove as they kept the stamps).

I looked back at my emails and found my order for these stamps which I purchased from Amazon. I have contatced Amazon but they said they can not do anything about it as it was longer than 2 years ago when I purchased, and Royal Mail aren't interested as they say they were not genuine so it's not their problem.

I assume there is nothing I can do here but it feels really frustrating to be in this situation where it looks like I was scammed by the seller on Amazon and now have lost all that money. Does anyone have any advice (other than don't by stamps from Amazon again!)
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Comments

  • NBLondon
    NBLondon Posts: 5,493
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    You probably won't get anywhere with RM as the T&C say they will keep (and presumably destroy) any stamps they decide are fakes.

    Is the seller still active on Amazon?  I'm assuming this was a third party on Amazon Marketplace rather than direct from Amazon.  Check their feedback; are they still selling stamps at large discounts?   If you challenge them, they will deny it and as you don't have the stamps as proof there's little you can do.

    Try passing the seller details to Royal Mail https://www.royalmail.com/report-stamp-fraud  
    Wash your Knobs and Knockers... Keep the Postie safe!
  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,732
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    Nothing you can do to recover your money, but report the seller to RM.
  • outtatune
    outtatune Posts: 516
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    Are you sure they haven't caused issues when you've used them in the past? It would be the recipient, not the sender, who would need to deal with unpaid postage.
  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 19,999
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    bluebot said:
    I purchased some sheets of stamps a few years ago before one of the price increases. I've used some of them but many have been sat in a drawer for around 3 years.

    I dug them out and sent them back into Royal Mail as part of the swap out scheme in order to get the barcoded stamps in return, but to my surprise, I just received a letter saying that 89 of the 92 stamps I sent in were not genuine so have not been exchanged!

    I had no idea at all that these stamps were fraudulent. I paid full price for them at the time and have been using them to send letters occasionally without any issues. But it seems like I have been the victim of a scam (assuming Royal Mail are correct in what they say - which I have no way to prove or disprove as they kept the stamps).

    I looked back at my emails and found my order for these stamps which I purchased from Amazon. I have contatced Amazon but they said they can not do anything about it as it was longer than 2 years ago when I purchased, and Royal Mail aren't interested as they say they were not genuine so it's not their problem.

    I assume there is nothing I can do here but it feels really frustrating to be in this situation where it looks like I was scammed by the seller on Amazon and now have lost all that money. Does anyone have any advice (other than don't by stamps from Amazon again!)
    Do you mean 89 out of 92 SHEETS of stamps? Because it sounds rather odd that 89 out of 92 individual stamps would be fake as they come on sheets.

    If they were bought from Amazon then it's quite feasible they were fake. You would have to find the seller and their details and send them a letter before action demanding the money back you paid for the 89 that have proven to be fake.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,572
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    I was under the impression that (despite what Royal Mail say about enabling them to send videos etc) one of the main drivers behind the introduction of barcodes was precisely because there are so many counterfeits being sold on the likes of eBay and Amazon....
  • NBLondon
    NBLondon Posts: 5,493
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    I was under the impression that (despite what Royal Mail say about enabling them to send videos etc) one of the main drivers behind the introduction of barcodes was precisely because there are so many counterfeits being sold on the likes of eBay and Amazon....
    Partly... the barcode is unique (it has a serial number for the sheet and the stamp within the sheet) and a faker wouldn't easily be able to reproduce that accurately.  So what they will do is just make multiple copies of a genuine sheet.  The barcode makes it easier to detect fakes rather than stop them being faked.    The fakers will just keep going as long as they can sell them.
    Wash your Knobs and Knockers... Keep the Postie safe!
  • Thanks all.
    It looks like I will just have to give up on this. I tried contacting Amazon who have sent a request to the 3rd party sellers to respond to me but I'm not holding out much hope! I think the sellers are no longer active on amazon anyway.

    It was 89 stamps that I sent in rather than 89 sheets (ie 3 of the stamps I sent in were genuine  - they were 2nd class stamps I had from a different source).

    I've checked with friends and family who I've sent things to in the past using these stamps and nobody has ever had an issue with underpaid postage.

    I understand the barcode stamps are supposed to make counterfeits harder. It's just a shame that the burden and loss sits on the shoulders of the consumers rather than the scam companies doing this. They will continue to make a profit so will continue to do this and consumers will be the ones out of pocket!
  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,744
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    bluebot said:
    Thanks all.
    It looks like I will just have to give up on this. I tried contacting Amazon who have sent a request to the 3rd party sellers to respond to me but I'm not holding out much hope! I think the sellers are no longer active on amazon anyway.

    It was 89 stamps that I sent in rather than 89 sheets (ie 3 of the stamps I sent in were genuine  - they were 2nd class stamps I had from a different source).

    I've checked with friends and family who I've sent things to in the past using these stamps and nobody has ever had an issue with underpaid postage.

    I understand the barcode stamps are supposed to make counterfeits harder. It's just a shame that the burden and loss sits on the shoulders of the consumers rather than the scam companies doing this. They will continue to make a profit so will continue to do this and consumers will be the ones out of pocket!
    Unfortuantly its the same with many counterfeit things, if you buy from a reputable source in the first place you will get something of good quality. But buy from a cheap Amazon Marketplace seller and the chance of getting a fake goes up significantly.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,245
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    edited 5 December 2022 at 10:21AM
    pinkshoes said:
    bluebot said:

    I understand the barcode stamps are supposed to make counterfeits harder. It's just a shame that the burden and loss sits on the shoulders of the consumers rather than the scam companies doing this. They will continue to make a profit so will continue to do this and consumers will be the ones out of pocket!
    So any sheets of stamps being sold at under the face value from a business are likely to be fakes.
    OP said they bought at face value though - which seems even odder (why buy from an unknown 3rd party on Amazon rather than from the Post Office, unless there is a discount involved?)
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