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Warning over Royal Mail text message scam

Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent
·2-min read

People are being warned to watch out for a new text message scam in which criminals pose as Royal Mail in an attempt to steal personal and financial details.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said it has received evidence of the scam, which uses a text message to claim a parcel is awaiting delivery but a “settlement” must first be paid.

The message also includes a link which leads to a fraudulent website posing as a Royal Mail page and asks for personal and payment details, which could then be used by scammers for further fraud.

It follows a similar scam taking place over email which was flagged by Royal Mail last month.

Concerns have been raised about an increase in online scams since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic as millions of people began spending more time online and there was a surge in online shopping.

Royal Mail scam text
The fraudulent message asks users to pay a settlement before their parcel can be delivered (CTSI/PA)

The CTSI warned that the rise in online shopping means more people are likely to be waiting for parcels and deliveries, making them more vulnerable to this kind of scam.

Lead officer Katherine Hart said: “This delivery scam is yet another example of fraudsters attempting to make money out of the unsuspecting public. Due to the lockdowns, many millions of people rely on product deliveries, so scammers have focused their efforts on this theme.

“Royal Mail will only ever contact you via text or email if a customs fee is due, not for domestic parcel delivery. If you have any suspicions, contact Royal Mail to verify before you click any links or share details.

“Also, the public must also be aware that these types of scams may come in many forms, and scammers do not only use Royal Mail branding.

“Indeed, in January, I commented on a similar scam that used DPD branding.

“These types of scams come in many forms, not just via text but also in emails and through the phone.”

People are encouraged to report scams to Action Fraud, or for email scams contact the National Cyber Security Centre by emailing report@phishing.gov.uk.