Between shopping, celebrating, food prep and gift wrapping, the festive season can be one of the busiest times of the year.
As people save time by buying online, we tend to see an increase in criminals sending emails and texts posing as delivery companies.
These messages can be really convincing. They often contain a link to a fake website, or a demand for courier fees. When people are busy or waiting for parcels, they’re much more likely to fall for this type of scam.
By knowing what to look out for and following Take Five’s advice to ‘Stop, Challenge, Protect,’ people can enjoy their festivities while staying safe from fraud.
Examples of parcel delivery scams
There are lots of ways a parcel delivery scam can work, for example, you may receive a message claiming that:
A small fee has to be paid to get your package – it may try to scare you by stating your package will be sent back or to a depot if you don’t pay.
A package you’ve sent will be returned, as the address was incorrect. You’ll be asked to enter your personal and payment details.
A company tried to deliver a package, but you were out. Often this scam will include a link to schedule redelivery.
A parcel isn’t going to be delivered unless you download an app. These apps can contain spyware to capture your personal details when you next use them.
How to spot a parcel delivery scam
Check the number
A scam text message will often arrive as a mobile number, rather than from an official source.
They try to rush you
A scam will often try to get you to act quickly, without taking a second to think. If a message is trying to get you to give them your details quickly, this is suspicious.
Lacks details about your package
Delivery scams are often vague and won’t be specific about where the parcel is coming from – or what’s inside.
Spelling and grammatical errors
A common way to spot a scam is spelling errors – check for mistakes or broken English. You may also see exclamation marks or strange capitalisation on fraudulent messages.
Royal Mail will never use text or email to collect fees