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Scams claiming to be from courier services like Royal Mail have became more evident in the last year with fake messages being sent to Britons in the form of text messages and emails. The messages often contain a link which will ask shoppers for sensitive information such as bank details.
Royal Mail regularly updates its scam advice online as well as the current scams people should be aware of.
The company said: “Please don’t click on any of the links in these emails and be vigilant if you receive a communication which you aren’t sure about.”
Typical text message scams state that a package needs to be rescheduled for delivery as well as there being an outstanding delivery fee.
The delivery settlement scam reads: “Your Royal Mail parcel is waiting for delivery. Please confirm the settlement of £2.99 on the following link.”
Royal Mail urges customers to “not click on the link” or pass on any sensitive information.
Social media users have also explained that they have started to receive a different variation of the text message.
One person said: “I’ve heard about the £2.99 postage fee message but I’ve just received a £1.99 settlement fee scam.”
Another wrote: “I’ve not had this scam before…Royal Mail fraudsters asking me for payment, it’s £1.99.”
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“I had this one yesterday, just make sure you delete the message,” replied a third.
When ordering lots of parcels, it can be hard to know which messages are legitimate and what ones are scams.
Royal Mail previously stated that they would never send customers text messages and Britons would only ever receive them if they have opted in for the service.
If a parcel could not be delivered, customers will be left a slip of paper through their door.
CEO of cyber security firm Egress Tony Pepper previously explained: “As the world continues to rely on digital communication channels wherever possible, we’ve seen an inevitable surge in phishing activity over the last year, with cyber criminals sending out highly convincing emails posing as trusted organisations.
“Unfortunately, these recent emails claiming to be from the Royal Mail are part of the latest scheme aimed at tricking people into parting with their money – and in many cases are using incredibly sophisticated tactics to do so.”
He added: “If you have received an email or text message claiming to be from Royal Mail requesting payment for a delivery that you believe to be suspicious, we’d urge you to notify Action Fraud using their online reporting service.”
The delivery company has also shared typical signs to look out for when identifying a scam message.
Royal Mail said: “Check at the top. Fraudsters often use subjects or greetings that are impersonal and general, like ‘Attention Royal Mail Customer’. They may use a forged email address in the ‘from’ field like ‘[email protected]’.
“They may even use the Royal Mail logo. None of this guarantees the email has come from us.”
Tips to avoid being caught in a scam involve turning on the spam filter on your email account.
Adam French, Which? Consumer Rights Expert said: “The coronavirus pandemic has led to an explosion of scams, with shameless fraudsters prepared to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to steal victims’ money.
“People should be wary of any unsolicited texts, emails or calls that they receive regarding deliveries, and contact Royal Mail directly if they are in any doubt about their legitimacy. An added layer of confusion is that Brexit means consumers could also now legitimately be asked to pay fees for some orders that come from the EU.
“Which? has launched a free scam alert to help consumers spot the latest tactics used by fraudsters, however there also needs to be a coordinated approach from the banking, telecoms and tech industries, as well as regulators and government, to tackle this huge problem.”
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