Let’s be real – you can pretty much order anything online these days. From food and groceries to clothes and household items, everything is just a click away from being ordered straight to your doorstep.
With more and more online deliveries piling up, there has been an increase in hackers sending out scam delivery texts and emails to trick consumers.
If you’re not sure if you’re dealing with a scam message or “smishing”, here are some of the key things to look out for. Firstly, “SMS phishing” is where scammers send messages to phones in the hope that people will click on a link or ask for payment from consumers.
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Royal Mail said that they never ask their customers for money or more information. “We love putting things through your letterbox. Do not make any payments until you also receive a card through the door,” said Adam Christie, privacy manager at the Royal Mail.
Similarly, a spokesperson for Hermes said: “We’re aware of a phishing attempt claiming to be Hermes where individuals are receiving a text message including a link to pay for parcel delivery. We would never ask for payment in this way.”
How to spot a scam delivery message
So, first rule is if the message is asking you to pay for something or asking you for private information, the likelihood is that you’re dealing with a scammer impersonating a particular business.
If the text you receive is also from an unknown number or email address, it could likely be an impersonating scam. Even if the company name is mentioned in the message, it’s worth contacting your delivery business directly before you click on any links.
If the message sounds urgent or demands immediate action, this is a key indicator that it could be a scam. Grammatical errors or spelling mistakes are also signs of a scammer.
If there are any unusual links, then this is another indicator of a scam delivery message. Consumers should also check if the order code matches the one in your confirmation email from the company. If they don’t match, then it’s a scam.
Finally, if you received a delivery message from a particular company that you never made an order with, then you’re dealing with a scam message. Recently, cyber-security firm Proofpoint told the BBC that in 2021 they saw ‘ten times more scam messages than last year.’
How to report suspicious messages
To report a dodgy text, consumers can forward any suspicious messages to 7726 or via the Royal Mail website. The reason the number was chosen is because it spells out ‘spam’ on a mobile keyboard.
If you think that you’ve been scammed, Ofcom advise you to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use the Action Fraud website.