Did you receive an e-mail from the post office requiring a customs clearance fee? It's a scam

Slovenská Pošta will never ask you to pay for something via e-mail or text message, it said.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

The national postal service operator Slovenská Pošta is warning people against a new type of fraudulent e-mail concerning customs clearance fees.

Recently, many people have received such e-mails from a sender pretending to be Slovenská Pošta, asking recipients to pay the customs clearance fees for a consignment. The postal service operator says that its logo has been exploited. People should not respond to such emails.

“Slovenská Pošta has never asked for fees via e-mails or text messages, not even for customs clearance,” its spokesperson Iveta Dorčáková said. “Clients pay customs clearance fees only when the item is delivered.”

Clients pay the fees either when taking the delivery from a courier or when picking up the delivery at the branch or at BalíkoBOX, i.e. a box for picking up the delivery, she added.

If people accept this fake request, the website will send them to a payment wall where they are required to type in details from their payment card. People should not accept the request, Slovenská Pošta stressed.

Slovenská Pošta also published examples of such fraudulent emails on its website.

How does it really work?

Usually, if people receive a shipment from abroad, the post office informs them in written form. They subsequently deal with the customs services on their own or via the post office based on the authorisation.

The post office asks people to send them only certain documents confirming the value of the goods (like a confirmation of payment for the goods, a receipt from the store or transaction details) and the kind of goods (like an order, an invoice, a picture from an online shop).

Slovenská Pošta then submits an electronic customs declaration to the relevant customs authorities. A customs officer then issues a document containing the exact payment and discharges the shipment subsequently delivered to the recipients. Only then do people pay the respective fees, which Slovenská Pošta sends to the Financial Administration.

Slovenská Pošta recommends against responding to these suspicious e-mails and providing any data from the card.

“If clients have already reacted to such an e-mail and paid a requested sum, we recommend turning to the law enforcement authorities,” Dorčáková said.

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