With non-essential retail being closed for several months at a time and Britons being separated from their loved ones, Royal Mail has seen an increase in parcels and letters being sent throughout the past year. With this has come an array of new text message and email scams, asking for sensitive information. Martin Lewis has called one particular scam “twisted genius”.
“So many people are expecting deliveries now. They swear a bit and just pay their delivery, and don’t realise they’ve given away their bank details to a scammer.”
Royal Mail has said that if customers needed to pay a surcharge for an unpaid item, they would never request payment via text or email, and would only do so by leaving a grey Fee To Pay card through the letterbox.
Three years ago, Martin launched a defamation action against Facebook for publishing more than 1,000 adverts paid for by fraudsters which used his face and name to con people into scams.
Martin said that he still received three or four emails per day from people asking him if the scam ads with his face are genuine.
Royal Mail said: “This isn’t something that’s been sent by us.
“Please don’t click on any URLs in the message. We’re currently investigating this with our security team.
“Further information on known scams and how to report them in future can be online.”
Other people have also shared their experience with the scam in question, with one retired police officer left “devastated”.
The retired police officer, who wanted to be known as Alan, said that he thought the scammers were “legitimate and credible” when he spoke to them on the phone.
The criminals used Alan’s details to call him back, pretending to be his bank.
They asked him to transfer money to a new account they claimed to have set up for him.
He told BBC Radio Cumbria: “I used to give people advice for over 25 years on scams and I was caught out.
“I thought, ‘How can I tell my wife and family? Will they laugh at me and say how stupid are you.”
He added that he felt “helpless” and that this scam is one or everybody to be aware of.