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Why you should be wary if you receive a text from Royal Mail, DPD or Hermes

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Written by: Emma Lunn
09/12/2021
TSB is warning consumers to be vigilant of fake delivery texts in the lead-up to Christmas.

Research by the bank found that four in five (81%) fraud cases that start with a text message are from fraudsters imitating parcel delivery companies.

TSB warns that over the festive period, fraudsters will try to capitalise on the rise of online shopping by imitating legitimate delivery companies to trick people who are waiting for an online order to arrive.

It found that Royal Mail was the most impersonated delivery company, accounting for 62% of fraud cases that start with a delivery scam text message, followed by DPD (19%) and Hermes (15%).

Scam texts are sent to harvest sensitive information from consumers that fraudsters then use to target them with convincing ‘safe account’ cold-calls. ‘Safe account’ scams are rife across the banking sector and make up 20% of all fraud losses – with an average industry loss of £4,500 per case.

One such case saw a customer refunded more than £7,000 after falling victim to a fraud that started when she received a scam text impersonating Royal Mail. As she was waiting for a parcel from Australia, she thought it was genuine and followed the link to complete the form. Four days later she received a call from a fraudster who had detailed information on the customer to target her with a convincing safe account scam.

Another customer was defrauded in a similar fashion following a scam text ‘from’ Hermes. The message claimed she needed to pay £1.27 for her parcel to be delivered. Having completed the fraudulent form, she was then targeted with a cold call in the following days, losing almost £4,000 before TSB prevented an additional payment.

Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB, said: “Fraudsters are changing their methods all the time. Clicking on a link in an SMS might seem like a small act, but it could be the beginning of your life savings being stolen from you. It’s important to remain on guard. Never input personal details into an SMS link, and certainly not your card details. Spread the word – don’t let a fraudster ruin your Christmas.”

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