Even savvy consumers can be caught out by modern scams, which come in many shapes and forms. The wording of scam texts, in particular, is becoming increasingly advanced. Here’s what you need to watch out for to avoid falling victim to a scam.
Anyone can get scammed, so it’s always a good idea to be aware of common signs that something is amiss.
Fraudsters are always looking for ways to obtain your personal information or cash. But while it may feel increasingly like an unavoidable part of modern life, staying informed is the first step to making sure your money is safe.
Fraudsters trying to extort money from innocent people are nothing new. However, their new technological tools may surprise some people. The classic scams still exist, but your most recent contact with a fraudster was likely over your phone.
A suspicious courier text could possibly have been sent to you at some point, asking you to click on a link to pay a fee or to provide some basic personal information. In addition to appearing legitimate, these can even arrive when you’re expecting a package.
Since they appear to come from a trusted source, Royal Mail scam texts can be incredibly effective for fraudsters. The texts are in fact scams, sent by scammers who use a tool to mimic legitimate couriers and deceive customers.
Royal Mail scam text: what is it?
Royal Mail scam texts are a kind of phishing attack known as SMS phishing, or Smishing for short. Email scammers use similar scamming techniques to conduct this type of scam. It is also possible to disguise phishing attacks so that they appear to originate from FedEx, DPD or another delivery service.
Although the messages appear to be from Royal Mail or DPD, they are actually attempting to steal personal details and money. For example, they may tell you your delivery will need to be rescheduled, that you need to pay for additional postage, or that your package is ready for tracking. All of these messages will usually include a link to complete this action
The scam relies on you clicking on that link. You will be redirected to a page that appears to be legitimate, where you enter personal information or your banking information. If you do this, you might have your money stolen from your bank account or your account hacked.
Identifying Royal Mail scam texts
To spot a scam text, you need to know the basic elements of any fraudulent message and to have an understanding of what the most common types of scams look like.
If you are receiving scam texts from Royal Mail, you should first check their website. Royal Mail has put together a list of the most common scams it is aware of, including seasonal-specific scams, such as fraudulent text messages regarding Christmas deliveries. You should also search social media and news websites to see if any new messages are going around. When you believe that you have been a victim of a DPD scam, take the same steps.
Identifying what a current scam text looks like will help you avoid falling for any obvious traps.
A second technique involves recognizing the common signs of a scam text message. It can be challenging to detect these messages because fraudsters make them appear genuine. Many of them, however, still contain common spelling and grammar errors. Genuine Royal Mail texts are much less likely than smishing attacks to contain this type of mistake; after all, fraudsters are usually not held to the same editorial standards as big companies (Ed. – or even MoneyRaters for that matter!).
There is also a chance that the link’s web address may raise your suspicions. A subtle change in the text of a link can be an indication of where clicking will lead you.
Spotting visual tricks like the zero in the URL in R0YALMAIL.com versus ROYALMAIL.com is critical to defending yourself against these scams.
Don’t be fooled by any message which emphasizes urgency. It’s probably a scam if it says you have to click the link immediately or you will lose your package. Even if the text is marked as urgent, you can call Royal Mail directly to see if there is a problem.
The text also comes from a number, another clear indication. In most cases, scammers can hide their phone numbers and use a legitimate-sounding name in place of it, but not all of them can do so. A courier will not contact you from an apparently random number if it is genuinely contacting you. Messages from an unrecognised number may be scam texts or smishing attempts disguised as the Royal Mail.
If I receive a Royal Mail scam text, what should I do?
A Royal Mail scam text – or any other scam text, for that matter – should always be reported. It will give the company a chance to alert their customers and lower the risks of someone else becoming a victim, as well as allow the relevant authorities to catch those involved in the scam.
Criminals use these kinds of messages to steal money and personal details from you. They are more than just an inconvenience. To report these messages to the police in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, you can contact Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040 or by texting 7726.
What should if I’ve been a scam text victim?
You should change your passwords immediately if you suspect they have been compromised.
Those who have been scammed by Royal Mail texts and clicked on links or paid for extra services should contact their bank to report the charges as fraudulent. It is common for scammers to call you pretending to be your bank, but this is a common technique. Scammers may pose as bank representatives and entice you into transferring your savings into a ‘safe account.’ This is something a legitimate bank will never ask you to do, so if you receive such a request, you should hang up.