Royal Mail issue text scam warning to UK customers

A fresh warning has been issued over a Royal Mail “unpaid” post scam.

The con involves a text message being sent that claims a parcel is awaiting delivery by Royal Mail.

Trading standards officers say people must not click on a link which connects to a copycat website run by fraudsters.

Royal Mail said it would never send a text message of this kind.

Echo: Hoax texts have been followed by malicious emails - but Royal Mail has issued a responseHoax texts have been followed by malicious emails – but Royal Mail has issued a response

How it works

The text, claiming to be from Royal Mail arrives out of the blue and claims that “your Royal Mail parcel is awaiting delivery. Please confirm the settlement of 1.99 (GBP) on the following link”.

The message then links to a website mocked up to look like an official Royal Mail site.

The page requests personal and payment details, which scammers may use to steal someone’s identity, or use to target them with other scams.

Royal Mail said it would not use such texts – unless specifically requested – and would use a grey card instead to tell people if any fee was required.

It warned the public about a similar email scam in February, and it appears that the fraudsters’ campaign is evolving.

Concerns about delivery scams have risen since the surge in online shopping during the pandemic lockdowns.

Katherine Hart, from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said: “This delivery scam is yet another example of fraudsters attempting to make money out of the unsuspecting public.

“Due to the lockdowns, many millions of people rely on product deliveries, so scammers have focused their efforts on this theme.

“Also, the public must also be aware that these types of scams may come in many forms, and scammers do not only use Royal Mail branding.

“Indeed, in January, I commented on a similar scam that used DPD branding.

“These types of scams come in many forms, not just via text but also in emails and through the phone.”

Advice from Royal Mail:

How to spot a fake email

Check at the top. Fraudsters often use subjects or greetings that are impersonal and general, like “Attention Royal Mail Customer”.

They may use a forged email address in the “from” field like “delivery@royalmail.com”.

They may even use the Royal Mail logo.

The sender, subject and content may change slightly but often they:

  • state there’s a parcel waiting to be collected
  • ask for payment before an item can be released for delivery
  • prompts you to open a link or document
  • asks you to send a text message or call a phone premium rate phone number

Protect your information

Never send sensitive, personal information, security details or credit card numbers by email

Never click on a link in an email if you are unsure about it, especially if it asks for personal financial information, this might attempt to install malware on to your computer

Make sure you have a spam filter on your email account

Reporting potential scams

If you receive a suspicious email or discover a Royal Mail branded website which you think is fraudulent, let them know by completing an online form.

If you have been the victim of a payment scam, you can get a crime reference number by reporting it to your local police station.

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