Royal Mail text scam asks customers to pay for packages
Royal Mail text scam asking customers to pay for packages BEFORE they are delivered tricks thousands into handing over bank details – including comedian Alan Davies and actress who was conned out of ‘every penny’
- Alan Davies said fraudsters ‘ordered a £30 meal from JustEat’ by cloning his card
- Actress Emmeline Hartley was ‘scammed out of every penny’ when sent the text
- Scam sees fraudsters send a message asking for a £1.99 or £2.99 ‘settlement’
- Some texts claim there was ‘unpaid shipping fee’ for a parcel that was delivered
A Royal Mail text scam asking customers to pay for packages before they are delivered has tricked thousands into handing over their bank details.
Comedian Alan Davies revealed fraudsters ‘ordered a £30 meal from JustEat’ by cloning his bank card after he fell victim to their vicious con.
And actress Emmeline Hartley, from Devon, told how she was ‘scammed out of every penny’ she had when she was sent the same text.
The scam sees fraudsters send a message asking for a £1.99 or £2.99 ‘settlement’ for a parcel that couldn’t be delivered. Other texts say there has been an ‘unpaid shipping fee’ on a package.
The text includes a link to a fake Royal Mail ‘Track and Trace’ website, which looks nearly identical to the real thing.
It then demands a ‘redelivery payment’, making victims enter their bank details online.
A Royal Mail text scam (one such text, pictured) asking customers to pay for packages before they are delivered has tricked thousands into handing over their bank details
The text includes a link to a fake Royal Mail ‘Track and Trace’ website (pictured), which looks nearly identical to the real thing
Comedian Alan Davies revealed fraudsters ‘ordered a £30 meal from JustEat’ by cloning his bank card after he fell victim to their vicious con
And actress Emmeline Hartley revealed she was ‘scammed out of every penny’ she had when she was sent the same text
Jonathan Creek and QI star Mr Davies took to Twitter yesterday to warn others of the con, writing: ‘Hear ye: If you get a text message like this: “Royal Mail: Your Package has been held and will not be delivered due to a £1.99 unpaid shipping fee. To pay this now, visit: https://royalmail etc etc” don’t do what it says.
‘They will clone your card and order a £30 meal from JustEat.’
But it appears the comedian got off lightly as actress Miss Hartley told how she was left ‘sobbing’ after scammers ‘cleared out all her accounts’.
The rising star, who’s appeared in films including Peterloo and Outlawed, received the text on Friday and because it was her birthday on Saturday she was expecting parcels to arrive.
She followed the link in the text which took her to the fake website and she entered her details.
The following day, Miss Hartley received a call from a scammer claiming to be from Barclays saying a different fraudster had set up a direct debit on her accounts.
The caller said they cancelled her cards, issued new ones and generated a new sort code and account number – claiming the Royal Mail scammers could access all of her existing Barclays accounts.
Jonathan Creek and QI star Mr Davies took to Twitter yesterday to warn others of the con. But it appears the comedian got off lightly as actress Miss Hartley (right) lost every ‘penny’ she had
The fake Royal Mail website demands a ‘redelivery payment’, making victims enter their bank details online
She said she was so ’embarrassed’ about falling for the first scam that she followed the callers instructions.
The man – who appeared to be calling from the official Barclays Fraud contact number – asked her to transfer all her money into the new account.
She said her suspicions were aroused and she questioned whether the man on the phone was really from Barclays.
But he told her how much was in her bank accounts in a bid to ease her concerns. Miss Hartley later realized she’d disclosed the figures to him during initial security questions.
Miss Hartley said the scam artist ‘knew it was my birthday, knew I have been excluded from Government support throughout the pandemic due to being newly self-employed, he knew I am a student and he knew I currently have no meaningful income’.
Actress Miss Hartley told how she was left ‘sobbing’ after scammers ‘cleared out all her accounts’
She added: ‘He knew all those things because of how profusely I’d thanked him for protecting my money and went on to explain how devastating it’d have been if the transactions were successful.
‘Yet he had no shame in watching me clear out all my accounts to £0.00.’
She told how she spent ‘the rest of the day sobbing’ but hopes posting what happened will stop it happening to others.
And, since sharing her story on Twitter, ‘sickening’ fake accounts have also been set up in her name to try and procure funds from those commenting on her story, she said.
Internet security company ESET urged those who receive the fake Royal Mail texts to ‘think twice on any message that arrives requesting you to act quickly’.
Security Specialist Jake Moore told MailOnline: ‘As these messages increase in frequency and creativity, remember to think twice on any message that arrives requesting you to act quickly.
‘Whether it be to scare you, offer a great deal, or even create a slight mystery as to what the package might be, threat actors are crafty and use persuasion tactics.
‘Messages that affect your emotions are manipulating you without your conscious mind knowing it.
‘This is the clever psychology being used to make you use your quick brain before your slower, more reasoning brain sets in and takes over and questions such communications.
‘We also need to remind those who may be more susceptible to such cons and less vigilant of the scam world so it is important to make our friends and family members aware in case they are unfortunate enough to click through and hand over sensitive or financial information.’
Royal Mail said it only ever sends email and SMS notifications to customers in cases ‘where the sender has requested this when using our trackable products that offer this service.’
It added that the company ‘worked with UK law enforcement agencies, Trading Standards and other organisations to share information and support robust proactive action against scams.’
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