You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Caution urged over new Royal Mail scam

0
Written by:
11/03/2021
Warnings have been raised over a new text message scam where fraudsters pose as the Royal Mail.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said it had received evidence of a new scam, where victims receive a text out of the blue which claims that a Royal Mail parcel is awaiting delivery. However, in order to receive the parcel the recipient is urged to click on a link and confirm ‘settlement’ of £1.99.

The link takes victims through to a website designed to look like an official Royal Mail platform, where they are invited to fill out their personal and payment details. This information could be used to steal the victim’s identity.

Last month the Royal Mail itself issued warnings about a similar scam, this time using email, where fraudsters impersonate the postal service in a bid to steal personal and financial details from recipients.

Katherine Hart, lead officer at the CTSI, noted that national and local lockdowns had increased our reliance on deliveries, and that this had provided a potentially lucrative opening to scammers.

She continued: “Royal Mail will only ever contact you via text or email if a customs fee is due, not for domestic parcel delivery. If you have any suspicions, contact Royal Mail to verify before you click any links or share details.”

Hart also pointed out that earlier this year similar scams have emerged using branding for the DPD delivery service, so it’s vital that we are all on our guard for any suspicious alerts about deliveries.

The warnings come after Which? has called for the government to take urgent action over the “devastating emotional toll of online scams”, with 2020 described as the worst year ever for scams.

How to spot a text scam

This sort of text-based scam is known as ‘smishing’, where a scammer will use a text message to try to dupe you into sharing your personal details.

There are plenty of different organisations that scammers may impersonate as part of the con. For example, you may receive a text supposedly from your bank warning that there is a problem with your account that needs immediate action, such as irregular activity of a lack of funds. Alternatively they could pose as the taxman promising a refund, or a technology provider like Apple of Google notifying you that you need to ‘validate’ an account.

The GetSafeOnline campaign has outlined some clear advice on how to avoid falling victim to such a scam. They include: 

Don’t click on links in text messages unless you are convinced they are genuine

Take time to consider your actions before responding to text messages

Ask yourself if the sender was genuine, would they really contact you via text?

If in doubt, call the organisation of individual the text has supposedly come from, using a number which you know is genuine, for example which you have obtained from their website

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Seven ways to get help with energy bills this winter

We knew today’s announcement was going to be painful, but it’s still a shock to the system. When this kick...

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week