In an earlier post, ‘Don’t Get Scammed By Fraudsters Disguised As Courier Services‘ we wrote how a courier services smishing scam was operating with fraudsters and scammers targeting online shoppers with fake text messaging.

Royal Mail delivery scam texts

The Royal Mail, issued a warning after a convincing scam using fake text messages to target millions of customers who were awaiting packages from them. The scam is something not just targeting the Royal Mail Group but many of the delivery firms. Courier companies are used by criminals with messages designed to trick unsuspecting people into giving away details that can be used to commit further frauds.

Any person can fall victim. Jon Ironmonger, a BBC reporter, was expecting a parcel, and fell victim to a text and filled out a fake online form. This fraudster threatened to harm the BBC reporter after using a fake parcel delivery text to obtain his personal details.

Scam messages and phone calls are becoming sophisticated and becoming more and more difficult to spot. Many of theses scams will even fool an expert in the field of cyber security. However, The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) advises the type of tricks that criminals will use to try and get you to respond without thinking. Spotting suspicious messages.

Police action

Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a unique proactive police unit, with a national remit, formed as a partnership between UK Finance, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police together with the Home Office.

Police from the DCPCU, mounted operations in London, Coventry, Birmingham and Colchester during a week of action after the alert by Royal Mail.

Eight men were arrested in early morning raids across England as part of the investigation into scam texts claiming to be from Royal Mail.

The men were detained on suspicion of fraud involving ‘smishing’ texts claiming to be from delivery firms. Smishing is the term for phishing that involves a text message.

The police said ongoing investigations were expected to result in further arrests and charges.

What a courier services smishing scam text may suggest

  • the text usually advises recipients that there is an outstanding fee that needs to be paid on a parcel awaiting delivery
  • that the parcel will only be delivered once the payment has been made
  • on payment, the package will be set for redelivery
  • links direct the text recipent to fake websites where they are asked for personal and financial details that can be used later by the fraudsters

The Guardian has had reports from people who followed a link in a text and were later contacted by scammers who tricked them out of thousands of pounds.

How prevalent?

According to Which? “Three in five people have received a scam delivery text in the past year”.

“Text scams have boomed as consumers have become increasingly reliant on deliveries during the pandemic”.

Courier services smishing scam. Be vigilant!

NCSC is a good resource:

Dealing with suspicious emails, phone calls and text messages (How to spot the most obvious signs of a scam, and what to do if you’ve already responded)

FluBot: Guidance for ‘package delivery’ text message scam.

7726 spells SPAM

The message from NCSC for reporting suspicious messages is “The message might be from a company you don’t normally receive communications from, or someone you do not know. You may just have a hunch. If you are suspicious, you should report it. By doing so you’ll be helping to protect many more people from being affected.”

Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to 7726. This is a free-of-charge short code service and enables your network provider to investigate the origin of the text and take action, if it is found to be malicious. You may get an automated response thanking you for the report and giving you further instructions if needed. An easy way to remember ‘7726′ is that they are the numbers on your ‘telephone keypad’ that spell out the word ‘SPAM’.

“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.”

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