Scammers are getting more and more creative with new ways of stealing money or obtaining private information from their victims. The latest trend in the UK is sending out fake parcel delivery fee messages. To avoid these scams or if you think you’ve fallen victim to them, read our blog post.
Your parcel has a shipping fee
It all starts with a simple text message that a parcel you’ve ordered has a shipping fee. This fee needs to be urgently paid otherwise the parcel will be returned to sender. The text message contains a website link that will take you to a fake website where you’ll have to enter your personal or even financial details. In no time hackers could steal money directly from your account or block your access to them.
The messages that are being sent out can differ but all of them are centered around payment needed for delivery with a link to a website. Some of them link to a fake website, others might ask you to download a fraudulent application or software. Some go as far as giving you a call and pretending to be your bank provider, warning you for fraudulent activity on your account. They then encourage you to transfer your funds into another ‘secure’ account, all under false pretenses of protecting your money.
There are a few recurring signals that you should be alert for. The text messages all pretend to be from the Royal Mail asking for an urgent payment. The number used to send out these messages is usually an unknown number. Royal Mail already reacted saying they only send SMS notifications if the sender has requested this and uses a product that offers this service. If a fee is due on an item, they would leave a grey card to confirm this, they wouldn’t send a text.
When it comes to scams you should always be vigilant of unexpected text messages or phone calls. Always keep in mind that banks and other institutions will never expect you to give personal information such as bank details or passwords by phone or email. Especially when an urgency tactic is used to request payments or details, you should raise an eyebrow and check with someone you trust. Unfortunately, fraud waves have been sweeping the UK since the start of the pandemic.
You’ve been scammed
If you think you’ve fallen victim to one of these scams, contact your bank as soon as possible. They’ll be able to block your account and possibly reimburse you for any stolen money. You can forward the suspicious message to 7726, a free spam-reporting service provided by phone operators. If you encounter a suspicious website, then you can report this directly to the NCSC. You can also report suspicious emails by forwarding them to email@example.com as part of the NCSC’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS).
One of our members was unfortunate enough to go through this experience, read her story below:
“I was expecting a delivery and received a message to say they had tried to deliver, and I was out so needed to pay extra. I went on and put my card details in (stupid I know) and it also asked for my bank details which I left blank. I started to think and went to my bank, and they had tried to take just under £2400 from my account which normally wouldn’t be possible, but I had just been paid and also got my Credit Union loan on the same day! I cancelled my card and rang the bank which took me just over 2 and a half hours to get through. Everything is sorted now but was very scary.” – Margaret, CLCU member