Warning over Xmas parcel delivery scams

UK Finance is warning consumers to be vigilant against criminals looking to defraud them by posing as parcel delivery companies, as more people across the country are expected to shop online this Christmas than ever before.

Analysis from the trade body had found that criminals are sending out phishing emails, purportedly from well-known delivery companies, which claim that they have been unable to deliver parcels, packages or large letters.

These emails may ask the recipient to pay a fee or provide additional details in order to rearrange the delivery.

The public should also be aware of an increased risk of scam phone calls and texts impersonating delivery companies, as well as fake delivery notices posted through letterboxes. Similarly, these will ask for advance payment or for customers to provide information that is later used to defraud them.

Customers are typically tricked into clicking on links to seemingly genuine websites requesting personal and financial information such as their address, date of birth, mobile number or bank details, which are then used to commit fraud.

In some cases, victims later receive a call from the criminal pretending to be from their bank’s fraud team, trying to persuade them to move their money to a safe account or reveal their pass codes.

Katy Worobec, managing director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said:“Unscrupulous criminals will stop at nothing to commit fraud and that includes exploiting the festive season to target their victims.

“With more of us than ever expecting to send and receive gifts by post this Christmas, criminals are looking to cash in by sending scam emails and text messages imitating parcel delivery companies."

She added:“We are urging people not to give a gift to fraudsters this Christmas and to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign. Always take a moment to stop and think before parting with your information or money and avoid clicking on links in an email or text message in case it’s a scam.”

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