Scammers Using Fake Royal Mail, DPD & Hermes Texts To Steal Money: How To Spot One
Brits are being warned of scams involving fake parcel delivery text messages if they order gifts online during the holiday season.
According to the TSB, around four in five fraud cases that start with a text message come from scammers imitating delivery companies Royal Mail, DPD and Hermes.
The bank anticipates an increase in these tactics as customers turn to online shopping for their last-minute Christmas gifts.
And there could now be even more people buying giveaways online, thanks to possible new Covid restrictions and fears about the Omicron variant.
During the holiday season, fraudsters will try to capitalize on the boom in online shopping. Britons set to spend Â£ 36bn online this Christmas, Statista says
The average British adult is expected to shell out Â£ 548 in Christmas presents this year, according to comparison site Finder.
The TSB found Royal Mail to be the most spoofed delivery company, accounting for 62% of parcel frauds that started with a fraudulent text message.
Next come DPD and Hermes, which collectively account for 34% of SMS scams.
How to tell if your text message is a scam
These scams usually start when a buyer receives a fake delivery text message, often saying that they have to pay a shipping fee to get their package delivered.
Shipping charges on products coming from overseas have become more common since the UK left the European Union, so many customers will be fooled into thinking the request is legitimate.
They will be asked to enter personal information, which will then be passed directly to the criminals.
At a later date, fraudsters will call them out of the blue, claiming to be in a bank’s fraud department.
They will often come across as very convincing, as they will use the information they already have about the individual.
The scammer will usually claim that the person’s account is under attack and that they need to quickly transfer money to a “secure account” which will be an account held in the name of the fraudster.
False: Majority of delivery fraud cases that start with a text message come from scammers imitating Royal Mail, DPD and Hermes, TSB research shows
These so-called secure account scams are rife in the banking industry and represent one in five of all frauds, according to UK Finance. The average loss per customer is Â£ 4,500.
TSB claims to have reimbursed 97% of customers who have been the target of these types of scams.
One such case saw a customer refunded over Â£ 7,000 after being the victim of a scam pretending to be Royal Mail.
While waiting for a real package from Australia, the customer thought it was a real one and followed the link to fill out the form.
Four days later, she received a call from a scammer who had detailed customer information and was able to target her with a compelling secure account scam.
Another customer was similarly scammed as a result of a fraudulent text message claiming to be from courier Hermes.
The message claimed that she had to pay Â£ 1.27 to have her package delivered.
After filling out the fraudulent form, she was then targeted with a cold call in the following days, losing almost Â£ 4,000.
Other scams to watch out for this Christmas
Scammers can also cold call pretending to belong to a company you may have dealt with recently.
BST research has found that allegedly cold calls from Amazon and BT are among the most common, with the average loss being Â£ 6,700 and Â£ 4,900 per victim, respectively.
Virgin Media, HMRC and Microsoft are also common targets, with average losses of between Â£ 1,400 and Â£ 3,200 per victim.
Fraudulent SMS messages are sent to collect sensitive information from the victims. Scammers then use it to target them with convincing “secure account” cold calls at a later date.
Paul Davis, Director of Fraud Prevention at TSB, said: âFraudsters are constantly changing their ways.
âClicking on a link in a text might seem like a small act, but it could be the start of the theft of your savings.
âIt is important to be on guard. Never enter personal data in an SMS link, and certainly not your card data.
âSpread the word – don’t let a scammer ruin your Christmas. “
How To Avoid Losing Money To Fraud
Scammers take advantage of certain emotions, and anyone is capable of falling for the trap if caught in the wrong place, at a difficult time, or in a bad mood.
Any unsuspecting victim caught at the wrong time or in the wrong free space can fall for one of these scams
A moment of panic, distraction, temptation or stress can be costly.
It can get even easier to fall prey to a con artist when it looks like you received a text message from a delivery company that you might be expecting.
In addition to being extremely careful with any text message or email from a delivery company, it’s best to imagine the worst and avoid clicking on links or sharing content. personal information in response to a text message.
If you are expecting a package, never interact with the delivery company other than through their official app, or by finding their website yourself using an internet search engine.
If you receive an unexpected call, then the advice is to hang up and call the organization back via its official number.
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