Royal Mail warning as 'highly convincing' scam targets shoppers – use 'extreme caution'

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Fake messages claiming to be from Royal Mail will often ask shoppers to part with cash in order to get a parcel or letters delivered. The messages can be sent via text, email or on social media.

Royal Mail customers have headed to social media to share text messages circulating now asking them to pay up.

One Twitter user wrote: “Think we’ve got a scam going on @RoyalMail.”

She shared a picture of a text claiming to be from Royal Mail. It read: “Royal Mail: Your Package has been held and will not be delivered due to a £1.99 unpaid shipping fee.”

The message continued by asking the customer to pay by clicking on a link.

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Another user added: “I had this one yesterday. Similar thing and a scam I’m sure.”

They shared a snap of the text they received. It said: “Royal Mail: Please pay your dispatch fee immediately or your parcel will be returned to sender.”

A third agreed and shared a message they received, which stated: “Royal Mail: Your package has a £2 shipping fee. Package will be returned to sender if unpaid.”

If expecting a parcel from Royal Mail, spotting a legitimate update from a scam can be difficult.

Royal Mail have previously stated it rarely sends texts and customers only receive SMS messages if they have opted in for the service.

CEO of cyber security firm Egress Tony Pepper shared a warning on such messages.

He said: “As the world continues to rely on digital communication channels wherever possible, we’ve seen an inevitable surge in phishing activity over the last year, with cyber criminals sending out highly convincing emails posing as trusted organisations.

“Unfortunately, these recent emails claiming to be from the Royal Mail are part of the latest scheme aimed at tricking people into parting with their money – and in many cases are using incredibly sophisticated tactics to do so.

“We would urge anyone who has received one of these emails to practice extreme caution when it comes to sharing your personal data.

“Royal Mail will only ever request payment for a fee due on a parcel by leaving a grey card at your address, and will only contact you via text or email if you’ve specifically requested it.

“If in doubt, contact Royal Mail directly to ensure that any communications you’ve received are legitimate.”

The expert encouraged customers to report any suspicious looking messages.

He added: “If you have received an email or text message claiming to be from Royal Mail requesting payment for a delivery that you believe to be suspicious, we’d urge you to notify Action Fraud using their online reporting service.”



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