Royal Mail customers warned ‘don’t click’ as fraudsters hatch new plan

World News

Lloyds Bank is warning customers to watch out for a new Royal Mail smishing scam targeting Britons to steal their personal and banking details.

Britons have been receiving a text claiming to be from Royal Mail to say a parcel is awaiting delivery. To get it, the text instructs recipients to pay a fee.

However, a statement from Lloyds Bank reads: “The link will then go to a fake Royal Mail page that wants your personal and banking details.

“If you’re expecting a delivery, Royal Mail won’t get in touch to ask for your personal or banking details.”

The statement adds: “If you get a text like this, don’t click on the link or reply. Just delete it. You can report a scam text for free to 7726.”

Unfortunately, this is just one of the many smishing scams targeting UK consumers. A notorious “Hi mum” scam text is currently doing the rounds, tricking recipients into believing their child needs help – when actually it’s a scammer purporting to be them.

The message is written informally and will typically tell the recipient that their phone is “broken” and to text a number on WhatsApp.

One example of the text reads: “I’ve just broken my phone mum can you WhatsApp me on [insert phone number] please it’s urgent x”.

People who may have received that text should be cautious as it’s likely they’re being targeted by a scammer. For those who have concerns that their child may be in trouble, it’s suggested they contact their child via their own number directly.

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While scams of a similar nature have always been present, research suggests fraud victim numbers are rising rapidly as the cost of living crisis persists.

According to a report by Money.co.uk, fraudsters have collectively stolen more than £3.9billion from Britons in the last 12 months.

Fraud and cybercrime were very slightly up from the previous quarter in January 2023 to March 2023, with a staggering total of 85,171 crimes recorded.

Looking at these figures from the first quarter of the year, those aged 30 to 39 were targeted the most by fraud and cyber crimes, with those aged 20 to 29 not far behind.

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Individuals younger than 70 were most commonly victims of online shopping and auction fraud, while older age groups more commonly experienced crimes in the categories of computer software, advance fee, cheque or card, and door-to-door sales fraud.

Myron Jobson, senior personal finance analyst at interactive investor commented: “Financial scams are like the multiple-headed Hydra from Greek mythology, where every time one scam is exposed, many more emerge in its wake.

“Fraudsters are only too willing to exploit any ignorance or naivety. We often overestimate our ability to spot a financial scam when, in reality, even those who consider themselves financially savvy aren’t immune to increasingly sophisticated scams.

“In addition to the basics, which include not sharing your login credentials and ensuring that online transactions are made from secure and trusted websites, be mindful of who you disclose personal information to and remember that if a proposition seems too good to be true then it probably is.”

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