Image demonstrating Beware of fake parcel delivery scams 

Beware of fake parcel delivery scams 

Parcel delivery scams are continuing to take place in the county with fraudsters impersonating the courier to steal bank details from unsuspecting victims.  
The most recent scam involves fraudsters sending out ‘missed delivery’ emails from Royal Mail.
One Northumberland resident recently received a scam email purportedly from Royal Mail. The unsuspecting resident used the email link within the email and paid the £1.20 for redelivery. Only later did they discover that Royal Mail redelivery is free and that they’d been scammed. Their bank card had to be quickly cancelled so no further payments could be taken. 

Another popular scam is purported to be from ‘UPS’ and includes an email with UPS branding, albeit with one subtle difference. On closer inspection the logo says ‘IPS’.  The email tells you that you’ve missed a delivery. It includes a prominent link to ‘reconfirm the parcel shipping’.  

If you click the link, you’ll be taken to a website which includes a fake tracking number. You'll then be asked to select a new delivery date. 
This might seem genuine, but there's a catch. The site then asks you to pay a ‘customs fee’ of around £2. Don’t fall for this - most genuine delivery companies won’t charge you for missed deliveries, and customs fees only apply to international deliveries. If you enter your bank details, you'll be giving them to the scammer. 

Similar scams are also taking place with criminals targeting consumers with texts impersonating trusted organisations. These text messages often contain a link to a fraudulent website that replicates a legitimate site, asking the victim to enter personal and financial information. Another scam involves missed delivery cards with a number to ring. 

An officer from Northumberland County Council’s Trading Standards team said: 
Impersonating delivery companies is a common tactic used by scammers and with many people shopping online and waiting for a delivery, this adds to the uncertainty. Residents must remain very vigilant.” 

“We would advise residents never to send sensitive, personal information, security details or credit card numbers by email without making sure they know exactly who they are dealing with. 

Residents should avoid clicking on links within emails if you are unsure about it, particularly when being asked for personal or financial information. By doing this the business may attempt to install malware on to your computer. Make sure you have a spam filter on your email account too.” 

If residents receive contact from suspicious emails, or text messages, claiming to be from Royal Mail, they should report this to, preferably with a screenshot of the message. 

If you have been the victim of a payment scam and have paid using a debit card or bank transfer, you should report this to your bank. Be prepared that they may ask you to obtain a crime reference number from the Police.  
You can also report any information you have about scams to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133. 
View all news