Royal Mail customers were recently warned of a new phishing scam which targets consumers through a realistic service issue. The Birmingham Trading Standards tweeted a picture of a message which appeared to be from Royal Mail but it warned “Don’t click on the link”.
The fraudulent message said: “Royal Mail: Your package has a £2.99 unpaid shipping fee.”
This scam and others like it may prove to be especially troubling at the moment as large swathes of the economy are still closed off and many families are reliant on delivery services.
Tony Pepper, the CEO of cybersecurity firm Egress, reflected on this and provided advice on what affected individuals should do.
He said: “As the world continues to rely on digital communication channels wherever possible, we’ve seen an inevitable surge in phishing activity over the last year, with cybercriminals sending out highly convincing emails posing as trusted organisations.
“If you have received an email or text message claiming to be from Royal Mail requesting payment for a delivery that you believe to be suspicious, we’d urge you to notify Action Fraud using their online reporting service.”
Reports of this nature can be made to Action Fraud by logging into its website.
Additionally, Action Fraud notes if a person has received an email they’re “not quite sure about”, they should forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): email@example.com.
Following this, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will analyse the suspect email and any websites it links to.
Phoenix Group’s analysis details younger people were caught out by these scams more so than the overall population (29 percent versus 17 percent overall.
Tommy Burns, a Risk and Financial Crime Manager at Phoenix Group, concluded on this by calling on the Government to take action: “The number of scams reported has increased in the last year, and online scams have been particularly rife. Scamming techniques evolve as new technologies and platforms emerge, and fraudsters are capitalising on this, targeting a new generation of victims. We’re therefore urging the Government to address this as a priority in the Online Safety Bill.
“It’s also really important that young people are aware of the latest financial scam tactics.
“For example, offers of unrealistically high financial returns or free pension reviews are often too good to be true, and we would urge anyone that’s being lured by these sorts of promises to check out their credibility before acting further. Taking the time to check that a website is secure before sharing personal details, inspecting the URL, or simply asking whether a deal sounds too good to be true could stop you being a scammed.”