Scams by post

Scammers may write to you out of the blue using clever techniques to persuade you to send them money or ask for personal or banking details.

Common types of mail scams

Scam mail is different to legitimate mail sent by companies that are advertising lawful services or the sale of genuine goods. There are many different types of scam mail, such as fake lotteries and prize draws, get-rich-quick schemes, bogus health cures, investment scams and pyramid selling. Some of the most common are described below. 

Clairvoyant and religious scams

Psychics and clairvoyants may send a letter claiming to have seen something in your future and asking for money to tell you what it is.

Sometimes they coordinate with lottery and prize scams to give the impression that they are ‘predicting’ a piece of ‘good luck’.

In other cases, a letter from someone claiming to be psychic or a person from a religious order gives the impression they are concerned about your good health, wealth and happiness. They threaten harm or bad luck unless you send them money.

Hard luck stories

In these cases, the fraudster may claim to have lost all of their money in unfortunate circumstances or that they need to pay for an operation, and will ask you for money.

These stories are fake. Don’t respond.

Lotteries and prize draws

You may receive a letter congratulating you on winning a cash prize.

But you won’t receive any prize, and you may be asked to call a premium rate number or to pay fees to 'release' your prize.

A genuine lottery will never ask you to pay a fee to collect your winnings.

Parcel delivery scams

A postcard is put through your letterbox by a fake delivery company claiming it has a parcel for you and you need to call a telephone number to arrange delivery.

If you call the number, you’re then asked to pay a sum of money by credit card and told the (non-existent) package will be delivered the same day.

Protecting yourself from postal scams

  • Put a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your door
  • Avoid being added to mailing lists which scammers sometimes get hold of
  • Get your name taken off direct mailing lists in the UK by contacting the Mailing Preference Service

Preventing and reporting scams

You can find advice on how to protect yourself and others from becoming a victim of a scam as well as information on how to report a fraud at the links below.

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email:
rating@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about property valuation, email:
valuation@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about land registry, email:
CustomerInformation.LandRegistration@finance-ni.gov.uk

For mapping queries, email:
Mapping.Helpdesk@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.