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Crowland council candidate sent out election leaflets using fake stamps

A county council candidate was ‘distraught’ when it emerged that the stamps he had used to post out his election leaflets were fakes.

Residents in parts of the Crowland division had to go to the Royal Mail sorting office in Enterprise Way, Pinchbeck to pay £2 to collect some mail – and were surprised to find that the item was in fact a leaflet for Nigel Pepper.

Coun Pepper said he had been the victim of a scam – and bought about 100 of the stamps online last year when he was unable to get out to a Post Office.

Nigel Pepper. (8861402)
Nigel Pepper. (8861402)

He’d saved them up for use in his bid to be re-elected and was amazed to discover the stamps he’d bought were counterfeit.

He said: “I am really upset and distraught about it. Everybody has been phoning me up and saying they’ve got to spend £2.”

Of the stamps, he added:”You really wouldn’t know any difference. It will never happen to me again – I won’t be buying any more online.”

Coun Pepper has been to the sorting office to settle any outstanding payments himself.

The Crowland-based councillor told the Free Press that he had decided to post out election materials to some people living in Deeping St Nicholas, Sutton St Edmund, Holbeach Drove and Throckenholt to avoid having to drive and park up alongside ‘dangerous’ roads.

He said: “The worst thing is I am now going around to them anyway to reimburse them and explain to them. Most people have been understanding.”

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “Customers should be wary of buying discounted stamps from unknown sellers – either online or in person. If a letter is found to be carrying a fake or used (washed) stamp, the recipient will be asked to pay the postage plus a surcharge to cover administrative costs.

“Royal Mail has built a series of security features into its stamps in order to identify counterfeits. These security 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 ask customers to report any suspicious stamps to Royal Mail Customer Services. Royal Mail recommends customers always buy their stamps from reputable Royal Mail approved outlets. Stamps are available in Post Offices throughout the UK and at www.royalmail.com.”

- The candidates for the Crowland county council seat are Richard Fairman (Independent) and Nigel Pepper (Conservative).

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