Royal Mail issues warning about scam texts

Royal Mail has issued a warning after continuing widespread reports of scam texts which are pretending to come from the service. The scam texts looks like they are linking to a genuine URL. In reality, it is a slick phishing website designed to steal your personal and financial details.

There have been reports of the scam circulating locally in different variations. Some have randomly generated tracking numbers in an attempt to make them look more legitimate. In April, a retired police officer in Carlisle was scammed out of £3,000 after falling for one of these scams. He told the BBC earlier this year the con-artists were “legitimate and credible” when he spoke to them on the phone.

Scammers also mimic other postal and package delivery services. Fake text messages seen by The Chiswick Calendar have also claimed to come from UPS and Amazon services.

Image above: an example a Royal Mail scam text, an example of a UPS scam text

Royal Mail will text only with prior consent

A Royal Mail spokesperson said:

“We remind our customers that Royal Mail will only send email and SMS notifications in cases where the sender has requested this when using our trackable products that offer this service. In cases where customers need to pay a surcharge for an underpaid item, we would let them know by leaving a grey Fee To Pay card.

We would not request payment by email or text. The only time we would ask customers to make a payment by email or by text is in some instances where a customs fee is due. In such cases, we would also leave a grey card telling customers that there’s a Fee to Pay before we can release the item.

“Royal Mail works hard to prevent and detect fraud. We work with UK law enforcement agencies, Trading Standards and other organisations to share information and support robust proactive action against scams. We report any offending sites and suspicious numbers to the appropriate authorities as soon as we are made aware of them.

“As well providing useful help via our customer services channels, customers looking for additional advice on how to spot a fake notification by visiting our website at royalmail.com/help/scam-protection?iid=HP_M2_4_SCAMS. Here they can view examples of scams, and get advice on taking appropriate action.”

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