A new Hermes delivery text scam is arriving on phones as it targets the increasing numbers of people based at home during the pandemic.
With the big rise in home shopping during the lockdown, many of us have parcels on the way to our front doors. And that has meant a big rise in fraudulent messages over ‘attempted deliveries’.
These latest parcel scams follow similar fake messages purporting to be from Royal Mail and other shipping companies.
In this latest con trick, people are receiving a phoney message supposedly from Hermes, saying: “Your parcel is awaiting for dispatch. Please confirm the £2.99 GBP shipping fee via hermes-distribute.com in order for dispatch.”
If you’ve been home all the time and never heard anyone trying to deliver anything, then that might be a clue this is suspicious.
Another red flag is a website with ‘billing’ in it where it looks like you’ll be asked to input payment details.
An earlier scam read: “We attempted to deliver your parcel today and were unsuccessful, to reschedule delivery please follow the link https://online-hermes-billing.com”
Other recent Hermes text scams had the links as my-hermes-shipping.com or reroute-hermes.com or parcelfee-hermes.com
None of them are genuine.
This type of scam is known as smishing, a combination of SMS (texting) and phishing, a type of cybercrime in which the scammers are fishing for financial or other details.
What Hermes said
The company said: “Hermes will never ask you (eg by email or by telephone or by SMS), to enter or transmit sensitive customer information via the internet.
“The payment of our services will be on the spot and in cash. If you receive a payment request via email, please ignore this. In this case it is a phishing attempt.
“Other phishing emails ask the user to change password or threaten to block accounts. In these cases, do not enter any data whatsoever.
“The so called “phishing” – derived from “password fishing” – is used to get a hold of confidential user data and passwords by sending out fake emails. Unfortunately there has recently been an increase in this sort of criminal activity. These emails not just ask the user to send confidential personal data, but sometimes also offer links to fake websites of companies and credit institutions to acquire the personal data when the user tries to login.
“No reputable company will ever ask for your password, credit card number, or personal data nor will it ask you to update that information via email. In your account you have the possibility – if necessary – to update your personal information like address etc. yourself.”
This is the advice from Hermes:
- Never respond to suspicious email from senders you don’t know
- Never open attachments or follow up links to dubious emails
- Ignore malicious payment requests that appear in emails or on websites
- Never install software updates or programs from unknown websites
- Send details of such events
Trading Standards said: “Forward scam text messages, including the phone number or company name, to 7726.
“It won’t cost you anything and it means your phone provider can investigate the sender.”
It is estimated that scams cost the UK economy £5 billion to £10 billion per year, with approximately 53 per cent of people aged over 65 being targeted.
The Money Advice Service says: “Smishing can be difficult to spot, particularly if it’s someone who would normally contact you by text.
“But, like email scams, there are some tell-tale signs. For example, there might be spelling mistakes or the text just addresses you as sir or madam. Real messages from these companies will usually address you by your full name.
“You can also look at the phone number it’s been sent from. First, it won’t be the same as the one on your bank card. Second, it might be sent from an overseas number.
“Fraudsters won’t just pretend to be your bank. Sometimes they’ll claim to be from an online account such as PayPal, or a service you subscribe to, such as Netflix. Fake text message scams have also been reported targeting customers of government organisations such as HMRC and the DVLA.”