An investigation is under way into a set of “fake” first class stamps bought at an Aberdeen store.
Dougie McConachy, 68, said he purchased a book of 12 stamps, which he planned to stick on Christmas cards.
However, as he stuck them on, he noticed they came undone very easily.
Despite his best efforts, the stamps still refused to stick properly, so Dougie used a piece of tape to keep them in place.
After sending a few cards out, he heard back from family members who were forced to pay £2 to collect their mail from a post office due to the faulty stamp.
Dougie reported it to the police, who have now passed it on to Aberdeen Council’s Trading Standards, which confirmed the incident and are investigating.
He said: “I’ve never heard about fake stamps before so this was a new situation for me.
“I noticed that the red colour was a bit different from other stamps that I have purchased since.
“I bought them in October and used them for my Christmas cards I posted out.
“However, my sister phoned me from Elgin and my daughter called me from Alford to say they were charged £2 to collect them from the post office.
“My brother and his wife also had to pay as well.
“It does not look good for me as there are one or two people who I’ve not written or spoken to in years, and this would be the first time they have heard from me.”
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A police spokesman confirmed that a report had been received about the selling of “what appears to be fraudulent postage stamps” and the matter has been referred to Trading Standards and the Royal Mail.
A Royal Mail spokeswoman added: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, Royal Mail takes any attempt to defraud it extremely seriously and will actively investigate to find the source of any counterfeit stamps.
“Royal Mail has built a series of security features into its stamps to identify counterfeits.
“These features include: die cuts within the body of the stamps; the words Royal Mail printed in a special ink across the surface of the stamp and wider oval perforations along both sides, close to the base of the stamp. We also have bands of phosphor printed on the stamp for operational reasons and these are difficult to counterfeit.
“Royal Mail recommends that customers always buy their stamps from reputable Royal Mail approved outlets.
“If in doubt, stamps are available in Post Offices throughout the UK and online at www.royalmail.com. Customers should always report any suspicious stamps to Royal Mail Customer Services for us to investigate.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “Our Trading Standards team is investigating the matter and is working with Royal Mail.”