Received A Fake Delivery Text? 8 Ways To Spot A Scam

Here's how to be aware of email, text, and social media message scams.

Expecting a delivery? Watch out for phishing attempts warning of held packages and bogus shipping fees.

Three in five (61%) people have received fake delivery company texts over the past year, according to Which? research. With many relying on deliveries during the pandemic, fraudsters are posing as couriers and delivery companies.

Of those who received the scam texts, four in five (79%) realised it was fake immediately – but 3% said they lost money to the scam.

Of those surveyed who said they received one or more scam texts, seven in 10 (70%) had received one purporting to be from the Royal Mail.

Messages usually request a small payment for a parcel to be delivered, with a link to a copycat Royal Mail website, and victims are then called by scammers to try to trick them into sending large sums of money.

Royal Mail told Which?: “We remind our customers that Royal Mail will only send email and SMS notifications in cases where the sender has requested this when using our trackable products that offer this service. In cases where customers need to pay a surcharge for an underpaid item, we would let them know by leaving a grey ‘fee to pay’ card. We would not request payment by email or text.”

Scams can be difficult to recognise – that’s why they work. Here are some tips for staying protected, including advice from Santander, Nationwide and TransUnion’s fraud teams:

1. Avoid clicking links in emails or messages unless you’re sure you know the origin. Never open an attachment unless you’re 100% sure of its contents.

2. Be vigilant if you receive a communication you aren’t expecting. Be wary of unknown contacts and unexpected calls, emails, or messages. They should raise suspicion, especially if you’re asked to give personal or payment details.

3. If an offer, deal, or giveaway seems too good to be true, then it usually is.

4. Check your credit report every now and then. It can help you monitor for fraudulent activity if someone tries to use your identity in a scam.

5. Never share your personal details with anyone if you can’t confirm they are who they say they are. If you’re unsure, contact one of Citizen Advice scams advisers. They’ll give you advice about what to do next.

6. Watch out for poor grammar or dodgy spelling, they’re a red flag indicating they’re a scam giveaway. Legitimate organisations will rarely, if ever, make spelling or grammatical mistakes in their communications to you because they go through a rigorous process put together by professionals.

7. If someone calls up unexpectedly and tries to rush you into buying something, be suspicious. Don’t get caught up in the panic. Hang up.

8. Keep your login details for online banking safe at all times. Avoid writing them down and don’t share them with anyone. Likewise, never share your One Time Passcode (OTP) for online banking with anyone.