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Page publication date: 27 December 2011 at 12:00 CET

PostNL intercepts large series of counterfeit stamps sold through websites

Estimated damage of several million euro

27 December 2011 at 12:00 CET - PostNL has intercepted a large series of counterfeit postage stamps offered through public websites for a price well under face value. PostNL could have incurred several million euro in damage. PostNL’s authenticity recognition system identifies the counterfeit stamps after which shipment of the postal item will be stopped. Under Article 216 of the Dutch Criminal Code, anyone who counterfeits postage stamps or uses counterfeit postage stamps can be sent to prison for up to six years.

The series of counterfeit stamps can be identified because these were always stuck on a blank sticker sheet and sold on the websites specified below. To the untrained eye these stamps are otherwise indistinguishable from real stamps. For experts, however, they can be identified as false because they lack a number of PostNL-specific authenticity features, such as phosphor tagging. The sheets of stamps have been encountered mainly on registered letters and parcels, and have been used for both domestic and international mail.

Example of a parcel with counterfeit stamps
Caption: example of a parcel with counterfeit stamps

PostNL has informed the police and justice about these fraudulent practices and will collaborate fully in possible investigation executed by the prosecution.

Commercial Director at PostNL, Ger Jacobs: “At first sight, these stamps are almost indistinguishable from real stamps issued by PostNL. So I’m glad to see that our security system was able to identify these counterfeit stamps and that we were able to stop shipment of the mail items concerned. We would like to emphasise to our customers that stamps may not, under any circumstances, be sold under their face value: by law stamps are considered securities. This is why we have included a number of visible and invisible authenticity features in the design of our postage stamps.”

The following websites have been identified as offering counterfeit stamps for sale:

PostNL advises its customers who suspect they are in the possession of counterfeit stamps to report the fraud via the special email address or by means of a letter to the PostNL security department. PostNL will then make sure the police will receive these notofications.

PostNL Security
PO Box 30250
The Netherlands

For more information on how the forged stamps can be recognised, reference is made to the PostNL-website:

About PostNL
We are PostNL. We are an essential link between the physical and online world. We have the most extensive mail, parcels and e-commerce network in the Benelux. Combining this with online solutions and other services we create value for our customers. We live in a world where digital applications play an ever greater role in our daily lives. These services are developing rapidly. Using our inventiveness we are constantly finding new ways to connect sender and receiver. As the first listed postal company, we are an example to the rest of the world in automatic letter sorting. And our innovative parcels network is completely adapted to the wishes of web retailers. Outside the Netherlands, we are active in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and Luxemburg. PostNL employs a total of more than 59,000 people. In 2013 our revenues reached € 4.3 billion.

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