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Customers told to beware of parcel delivery scams in run up to Christmas

Saleha Riaz
·3-min read
Criminals are sending out phishing emails that appear to be from well-known delivery companies, in an attempt to get personal data from customers. Photo: Getty Images
Criminals are sending out phishing emails that appear to be from well-known delivery companies, in an attempt to get personal data from customers. Photo: Getty Images

UK Finance is warning consumers to be vigilant against criminals looking to defraud them by posing as parcel delivery companies, as more people are expected to shop online this Christmas than ever before.

The report by the trade association for the banking and finance industry said criminals are sending out phishing emails that appear to be from well-known delivery companies, which state that they have been unable to deliver packages. These emails may ask the recipient to pay a fee or provide personal details in order to rearrange the delivery.

This data can then be used for malicious intents.

Customers should also be aware of an increased risk of scam phone calls and text messages impersonating delivery companies, as well as fake delivery notices posted through letterboxes, the trade body warned.

Consumers are typically tricked into clicking on links to “seemingly genuine” websites requesting personal and financial information such as their address, date of birth, mobile numnanber or bank details, which are then used to commit fraud.

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In some cases, victims may even receive a call from the criminal pretending to be from their bank’s fraud team, trying to persuade them to move their money to a safe account or reveal their pass codes.

UK Finance said customers can follow the advice of their Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign to protect themselves:

  1. Remember that criminals will send out phishing emails with links leading to fake websites used to steal personal and financial information. Always access websites by typing them into the web browser and avoid clicking on links in emails.

  2. Remain vigilant and check delivery notifications very carefully to ensure they are genuine. Emails, texts or cards through your letterbox may look very similar to those that are genuine but may use generic greetings, such as ‘Dear Sir/Madam,’ rather than the customer’s name, or include spelling errors.

  3. Always question claims that you are due goods or services that you haven’t ordered or are unaware of, especially if you have to pay any fees upfront.

  4. If you receive a delivery card through your letterbox which you do not believe is genuine and which asks you to dial a premium rate number, contact the company directly, using a number you know to be genuine.

  5. Customers can report suspected scam texts to their mobile network provider by forwarding them to 7726, and forward any suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk, the National Cyber Security Centre’s suspicious email reporting service.

UK Finance also said it is working with the government and law enforcement to tackle fraud through a national Economic Crime Pan, including regularly exchanging information and coordinating responses to emerging threats such as scams linked to COVID-19.

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