Campbell in the soup with note con
CAMDEN Council has picked a formidable foe in the shape of former spin doctor Alastair Campbell after failing to deal with his complaint about a postal con. In May, Gospel Oak resident Mr Campbell found himself caught out in a scam by Parcel Express UK
CAMDEN Council has picked a formidable foe in the shape of former spin doctor Alastair Campbell after failing to deal with his complaint about a postal con.
In May, Gospel Oak resident Mr Campbell found himself caught out in a scam by "Parcel Express UK".
The former New Labour heavyweight received a letter from the "company" telling him he needed to arrange a parcel delivery by handing over his credit-card details.
Realising it was a scam, he called Camden's trading standards - only for the department to take five weeks to reply with an email saying it did not deal with trading standards issues.
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Writing on his blog, Mr Campbell said: "The card, which looked genuine enough, said I could call and organise redelivery by credit/debit card, or collect the package in person. I was due to go to Heathrow later in the day, and the collection address was just off the North Circular, so I decided to pick it up on the way.
"The address turned out to be an industrial estate, with no sign of a Parcel Express UK depot. I asked around and eventually found a man who said 'Don't tell me - �2.20 redelivery charge -- it's a scam.'
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"He said there had been a steady procession of people up there to look for the depot, which didn't exist."
Returning from his trip, Mr Campbell was fobbed off by trading standards for five weeks before being told he needed to take his complaint elsewhere.
The council defended its tardy response this week, saying: "Camden Council is sorry it took Mr Campbell so long to receive a response to his complaint.
"This is clearly not acceptable, and we are looking at the processes we have in place to see if they can be improved. Despite the delay, Mr Campbell was given the correct advice about the next steps he should take to report his complaint."
Camden Police are investigating complaints about the scam. The fraudsters use credit card details to take money from victims' accounts and have stolen up to �2,000.
Police have warned people to hand over bank details only to companies they know are established and to be wary of any unexpected parcel notices.