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Bank warns UK fake deliveries scam could cost thousands

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Anna Berkut/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Anna Berkut/Alamy

TSB reveals big rise in fraudulent text messages and says shoppers should be on their guard

Shoppers have been warned to be wary of texts claiming to be from courier companies this Christmas, as one bank revealed the majority of fraud cases starting with an SMS involve fake deliveries.

Since the pandemic began there has been a leap in the number of fraudulent texts telling people that they are due a delivery and asking them to click on a link and input personal details.

Once the information has been harvested by the scammers, victims are typically called and persuaded that they are speaking to their bank’s fraud department and that they need to move money into a “safe account”.

These transfers make up 20% of all fraud losses, with victims losing an average of £4,500 each.

TSB said its internal data showed that in October, 81% of scams beginning with a text message involved an SMS claiming to be from a delivery firm.

Royal Mail was the most impersonated delivery company, accounting for 62% of the cases it dealt with, followed by DPD (19%) and Hermes (15%).

With consumers expected to do billions of pounds worth of shopping online this year, there are fears that people waiting for a parcel to arrive could be caught out.

Earlier this year, the Guardian highlighted the cases of readers who had been defrauded through delivery scams, including one who was persuaded to move £35,000 to what she was persuaded was a safe account.

Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB, said: “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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