Dutch mail has suffered millions in losses due to counterfeit stamps

Dutch mail has suffered millions in losses due to counterfeit stamps

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.

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

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