- TSB is warning Christmas shoppers to beware of fake parcel delivery texts
- It says 81% of text message fraud cases copy Royal Mail, DPD and Hermes
- Scammers will try to take advantage of the boom in online shopping in the festive season
- They collect personal details by text and then call pretending to be your bank
Britons are being warned about scams involving fake parcel delivery texts when ordering gifts online during the festive period.
According to TSB, four out of all four fraudulent cases that begin with text messages are from scammers imitating delivery firms Royal Mail, DPD and Hermes.
The bank is predicting an increase in these tips as customers turn to online shopping for their last-minute Christmas gifts.
And now more people can buy gifts online, thanks to possible new COVID restrictions and fears about the Omron version.
In the festive season, fraudsters will try to capitalize on the growing trend of online shopping. Britons are expected to spend £36bn online this Christmas, according to Statista
According to the comparison site Finder, the average British adult is expected to pay £548 on Christmas gifts this year.
TSB found that Royal Mail was the most commonly impersonated delivery company, accounting for 62 percent of parcel fraud that begins with a scam text message.
Next comes DPD and Hermes, which together are responsible for 34 percent of text message delivery scams.
How to tell if your text message is a scam
These scams usually start when a buyer receives a fake delivery text, often saying that they need to pay shipping charges for the delivery of their parcel.
Shipping charges have become more common on products arriving from overseas since the UK left the EU, so many customers will be tricked into thinking the request is legitimate.
They will be asked to input personal information, which goes directly to the criminals.
At a later date, the fraudsters will call them out of the blue, claiming to be from the bank’s fraud department.
They will often appear very confident, as they will use the information they already have.
The scammer will usually claim that the person’s account is under attack, and they must quickly transfer the money to a ‘secure account’, which would be an account named after the fraudster.
Fake: According to research by TSB, most delivery fraud cases that begin with a text message are from scammers imitating Royal Mail, DPD, and Hermes.
According to UK Finance, these so-called secure account scams are rampant in the banking sector and account for one in five of all fraudulent losses. The average loss per customer is £4,500.
TSB claims that it has refunded 97 percent of customers who have been on the receiving end of these types of scams.
In one such case, a customer received a refund of over £7,000 after falling victim to a scam text impersonating Royal Mail.
As she was waiting for a genuine parcel from Australia, the customer thought it was genuine and followed the link to complete the form.
Four days later he received a call from a fraudster who had detailed information about the customer and was able to target him with a secure account scam.
Another customer was similarly defrauded, following the text of a scam that claimed to be from the courier Hermes.
The message claimed that he would have to pay £1.27 for the delivery of his parcel.
After completing fraudulent form, he was the target of cold calls in the following days, causing a loss of approximately £4,000.
Other scams worth noting this Christmas
Scammers can also make cold calls pretending to be from a company you may have recently settled with.
TSB’s research showed that cold callers from Amazon and BT are the most common, with average losses of £6,700 and £4,900 per victim, respectively.
Virgin Media, HMRC and Microsoft are also common targets, with an average loss of between £1,400 and £3,200 per victim.
Scam texts are sent to collect sensitive information from the victims. The fraudsters then use this to trick them into cold-calling the ‘secure account’ at a later date.
Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB, said: ‘Fraudsters are changing their ways all the time.
‘Clicking on the link in SMS may seem like a small action, but it could be just the beginning of your life savings being stolen from you.
‘It’s important to stay on guard. Never enter personal details in the SMS link, and certainly not your card details.
‘Preach this word – don’t let the cheater ruin your Christmas.’
How to avoid losing money in fraud
Scammers take advantage of certain emotions, and anyone is capable of deceiving someone when caught in the wrong place, in difficult times, or in a negative mood.
Any unsuspecting victim caught at the wrong time or in the wrong headspace could fall for one of these scams
A moment of panic, absent-mindedness, temptation or stress can prove costly.
It can be even easier to fall victim to a scammer when it looks like you’re receiving a text message from a delivery company that you’ve been hoping to hear.
As well as being extremely careful about any text messages or emails from the delivery company, it’s best to assume the worst and avoid clicking any links or sharing any personal information in response to a text message.
If you are expecting a parcel, only interact with the delivery company through their official app, or search their website yourself using an Internet search engine.
If you get a call out of the blue, the advice is to call the organization back through their official number and make a call.