“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” A quote from The Polar Express. Part of the sentiment may mean that as we grow older, it is expected we act with responsibility, so even if we want the magic of Christmas to be with us at this time as the quote suggests, we would add, don’t let the child in you be fooled by Christmas scam scammers.
Christmas has been a time for giving for as long as we can remember. Often this involves family and close friends. Beyond this, we also extend our goodwill and generosity of giving to charity and other worthy causes such as with donations. It is at this time of the year that not only the good in people comes out but also those who will use the time of year to abuse the trust in our good nature.
Scamming is nothing new and we have written articles on the subject this year already. Courier Services Smishing Scam was our most recent news article. It is still valid and has some helpful information.
What is the latest on Christmas scam texts
As we are now so close to Christmas, it is this time that is targeted. ‘Parcel delivery scam texts to spike this Christmas’ by the BBC is one of the many latest news stories highlighting the scammers targeting the general public.
Over one million scam texts are expected to be sent in the UK this final Christmas week. As a courier service, it is alarming that more than half will use parcel deliveries to try to trick you. As the experts in criminal activity and monitoring say, and we would encourage this at all times and not just Christmas, “be vigilante!”.
Last year, Royal Mail highlighted how their services were being used by mimickers to target customers. This year, Proofpoint (the cyber-security firm) has suggested that they are seeing ten times more scam messages compared to this time last year. The company Proofpoint works with regulators and retailers, gathering and analysing smishing texts. “Smishing” or “SMS phishing” is where fraudsters send texts to mobile phones in the hope that people will click on a link and download malicious software or give away private data.”
What can happen if you do use the bogus links
This can lead to impersonation scams. These alone have more than doubled since last year. Katy Worobec (UK Finance): “This is where scammers use the information that they glean from these interactions, then pretend to be from your bank or police and get people to move significant funds between accounts,” adding that this money then goes on to be used by large criminal gangs in drugs and human trafficking.
Christmas scam advice
Adam Christie (privacy manager at the Royal Mail): “consumers will never receive just a text or email from us asking for money or more information.”
“We love putting things through your letterbox. Do not make any payments until you also receive a card through the door,” he said.
Hermes said: “We’re aware of a phishing attempt claiming to be Hermes where individuals are receiving a text message including a link to pay for parcel delivery. We would never ask for payment in this way.”
What if I get one?
Royal Mail, UKFinance and Proofpoint urge all consumers to forward what may be a scam text. This is so they can take action. At present, it is estimated that only about a quarter of us actually do so.
We can forward any suspicious messages to 7726 or use the Royal Mail website, there’s also more information relevant to scam protection on the site than just reporting the text. Ofcom (the regulator for the communications services) also has helpful information about scams and calls on their website.
Remember, scams aren’t just for Christmas, the scammers will continue and soon it will be for Boxing Day sales and then New Year sales and although targeting specific times, it will continue throughout the year.
“At Same Day Couriers Direct, we pride ourselves on a personalised service.
We only use text messaging if we’re unable to get hold of you by other communication such as a telephone call; we would only ever use a text asking you to contact us.
On the occasion we do need to send a text it will always be from 07422 128368.”