Half of all adults targeted by a parcel delivery scam this year
These scams come in many forms but usually are texts or emails claiming to be from a genuine delivery company to reschedule or pay additional delivery fees.
So far in 2023, 40 million people have been targeted by scammers in an attempt to steal personal and financial information.
Banking scams are the second-most popular, which 29% of adults have been targeted with this year, with criminals pretending to be from a genuine bank in order to steal personal details.
Next on the list from Citizens Advice, affecting 25% of people, were online shopping scams, whereby items are bought but never arrive. Once someone has paid, it then becomes impossible to get in contact with the seller.
Investment scams were targeted at 24% of the 2,000 asked by the charity, and 24% had also seen tax or Government support-related scams. These tend to be correspondence claiming to be from the Government about a grant or money to help with energy bills.
Those aged 75 and older were most likely to be targeted and 87% of those had seen a scam this year, most commonly through a phone call.
‘Scams cause immense stress’
Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Anyone can be targeted by a scam and sadly anyone can fall for one.
“As scammers get ever more sophisticated it’s more important than ever that we all work together to raise awareness, report scams and share our experiences to help protect ourselves from their tricks.”
John Herriman, chief executive at Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said: “Scams cause immense stress to people of all ages and often result in huge financial loss. While anyone can be targeted by a scam, we can all make ourselves and each other safer by following some helpful guidelines to check the legitimacy of our transactions, parcels and messages.
“It’s vital to spread awareness about the harm caused by scammers, and Trading Standards will continue to work with partners to keep the public informed and protected.”
How to protect yourself from scams
Citizens Advice has compiled the following tips on how to spot a scam.
- If it seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect
- You’ve been pressured to transfer money quickly
- You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way
- You’ve been asked to give away personal information
- You spot signs that the organisation or person you are dealing with isn’t genuine
If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam you should speak to your bank straight away and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 204.