Martin Lewis gives advice on scammers posing as Royal Mail

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The Post Office scam, which asks Britons to rearrange a failed delivery, started circulating last month. It has since been received by thousands, with hundreds of Twitter users complaining of the text message in the last week. The Chartered Trading Standards (CTSI) has warned customers about the scam message, asking people not to click on any links.

The text claims that the recipient’s parcel delivery failed and has been returned to a Post Office Depot.

It contains a link to a fake website created to look exactly like an official Post Office website where the recipient is asked to enter their postcode and personal details.

It also requests information such as a full name, address and date of birth as well as a phone number.

These personal details are then sent directly to fraudsters who are able to use them to commit identity fraud.

CTSI said it understood that a victim who submitted their details into the website lost £80,000 after scammers were able to access their bank account.

Taking to Twitter to warn others of the scam, hundreds of users explained that they had also received this message.

One person said: “New Post Office scam circulating, mine was from a mobile phone number which immediately gave it away, be careful.”

Another wrote: “I’ve received a Post Office text message asking to rearrange my delivery, is this real or not? I am waiting on several presents.”

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One Twitter user replied: “It’s fake, don’t click on anything, delete the message straight away.”

CTSI lead officer, Katherine Hart, said: “This Post Office scam is far more insidious than a similar scam which involved Royal Mail. While the Royal Mail scam explicitly asks for a payment to reorganise a delivery, at no point does this happen in this Post Office version making the communication less suspect and potentially more likely to be successful.

“Scammers could use the information to gain access to bank accounts and other important personal accounts.

“With the pandemic leading to a significant rise in online shopping and deliveries, it is vital that the message about the potential dangers of these scams are shared as far and wide as possible.”

There has also been a new DPD scam circulating which also claims that a delivery attempt was made and asks the recipient to rearrange a delivery.

Similar to the Post Office scam, the link takes recipients to a DPD copycat website asking for personal details and a small fee.

DPD said: “We continue to stress that only emails sent from one of three DPD email addresses are genuine, these are dpd.co.uk, dpdlocal.co.uk and dpdgroup.co.uk.

“With texts, we advise consumers to double check the links within the notifications to confirm that they are legitimate. These links should only be for www.dpd.co.uk/ or www.dpdlocal.co.uk/. We have worked with Action Fraud and regional police forces in the last couple of years on awareness campaigns and will continue to do so.”

How can Britons make sure they don’t fall for any scams?

Ryan Higginson, Vice President & UK/ROI Country Leader, Sending Technology Solutions, Pitney Bowes, said: “The pandemic and changes in the economic landscape have led to a surge in online shopping and subsequent parcel deliveries.

“Whilst this is a fast and convenient way to shop, it has also given nefarious actors yet another way to exploit the public.

“As a consumer, think carefully before clicking on a link sent in an email or text message you don’t recognise, even if you’re expecting a package and the details seem legitimate.

“Check your tracking number via a genuine carrier website if you’re at all concerned. Never enter personal or financial details if you do click on a link and even if you’re unsure whether or not it’s authentic, forward the message or email to Action Fraud or to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service.

“Businesses also have a responsibility to ensure their customers are protected as much as possible from these scams. Simple actions for opting for tracked or recorded services when sending items, to ensure consumers are paying accurate postage costs, will reduce the potential of any confusion and minimise the chance a customer will fall victim to a scam.

“Additionally, the more transport businesses are with sending through regular delivery status updates, the more they can ensure consumers avoid these scams and feel reassured throughout their shopping experience . This will not only ensure customers are protected, but more likely to remain loyal to their retailers.”

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