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People waiting for parcels to arrive have been given a fresh warning about a scam that claims payment is required for a package to be delivered. Social media is awash with talk about the con, which involves a text message being sent that claims a parcel is awaiting delivery by Royal Mail.

Trading standards officers say people must not click on a link which connects to a copycat website run by fraudsters. Royal Mail said it would never send a text message of this kind.

The text, claiming to be from Royal Mail arrives out of the blue and claims that “your Royal Mail parcel is awaiting delivery. Please confirm the settlement of 1.99 (GBP) on the following link”.

The message then links to a website mocked up to look like an official Royal Mail site. The page requests personal and payment details, which scammers may use to steal someone’s identity, or use to target them with other scams.

Royal Mail said it would not use such texts – unless specifically requested – and would use a grey card instead to tell people if any fee was required. It warned the public about a similar email scam in February, and it appears that the fraudsters’ campaign is evolving.

Concerns about delivery scams have risen since the surge in online shopping during the pandemic lockdowns. Katherine Hart, from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said: “This delivery scam is yet another example of fraudsters attempting to make money out of the unsuspecting public. Due to the lockdowns, many millions of people rely on product deliveries, so scammers have focused their efforts on this theme.

“Also, the public must also be aware that these types of scams may come in many forms, and scammers do not only use Royal Mail branding. Indeed, in January, I commented on a similar scam that used DPD branding. These types of scams come in many forms, not just via text but also in emails and through the phone.”

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