Royal Mail customers warned as ‘criminals take advantage’ with text scam – ‘stay alert’

Royal Mail: Couriers experiencing delays over Christmas

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Courier services such as Royal Mail, Hermes and DHL have been dealing with fraudulent messages recently. Scams can be sent as text messages, email and even on social media.

Spotting a scam is not always easy as they often appear to come from legitimate accounts.

They will often tell customers they have missed a package and will ask for payment or personal information in order to retrieve it.

Knowing if this is real or a scam can be difficult, especially for those who are expecting a parcel.

This week, police in Essex have shared a warning of a new wave of fraudulent messages it has been made aware of.

Posting on its Facebook page, the police service urged customers to be careful before entering any information.

It read: “Stay alert to scam text messages.

“Criminals are taking advantage of the new reliance on online shopping and deliveries to get personal and banking details from people.

“We’ve been alerted to a new wave of scam messages claiming to be from Royal Mail.

“The text messages come from a variety of different numbers but all will ask for a small payment which is accessed by clicking on a link in the message.

“Royal Mail have confirmed that this is not a text that they would send out and that they will only send text messages to those who have opted in to their SMS service.”

It confirmed Royal Mail does not send unexpected messages and they are only received by those who opt in for the service.

The police service continued to share handy tips on what to look out for.

How to spot a scam

The post continued: “Remember, unexpected messages should be treated with caution.

“Phone numbers can be easily spoofed by criminals — don’t trust a number just because it appears to come from a genuine organisation.

“Never click on links sent via email or SMS text message.”

Royal Mail also has tips on its website for those who are unsure whether a message is real or not.

It states: “Scam mail can take the form of fake lotteries and prize draws, get-rich-quick schemes, bogus health cures, investment scams and pyramid schemes.

“Sometimes these can be sent to you if a scammer has got hold of your contact details fraudulently.

“It’s worth noting there’s a difference between scam mail and legitimate mail sent by companies to promote lawful services or genuine goods.

“Scam mail is sent for the sole intention of obtaining money through deception and/or fraud. We want to know about potentially fraudulent mail.

“We can then work with the relevant authorities who can investigate and take action.”

The post service urged customers to report any suspicious messages to Action Fraud and not to click on links.

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