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Royal Mail scams as well as fraudsters purporting to be from other courier services have been around for several years. However, the shift in consumer behaviour during the pandemic has meant that many more Britons are falling for scams as more people are awaiting deliveries. Royal Mail has shared top tips on how customers can stay safe online.
Typical scams ask customers to pay an outstanding delivery charge as well as reschedule a delivery.
These can circulate via text and email and often contain a link in them which directs customers to a website.
Royal Mail warns Britons not to click on any links as they would only ever send messages to customers if they opted into the service.
The postal company regularly updates its website with the scams it knows about as well as how to protect yourself online.
Royal Mail said: “Scams are on the rise. We’re working with cyber security experts to reduce the risk to you.
“It’s important you stay safe online to avoid being scammed, we’ve pulled together some helpful tips on how to determine if an email, text message or phone call is from Royal Mail, and how to report if not.”
Scams can often be hard to spot as they tend to look legitimate with similar emails.
However there are signs to look for when determining if a message is a scam as well as top tips on staying safe online.
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Royal Mail’s website explained: “Never send sensitive, personal information, security details or credit card numbers by email or text.
“Never click on a link in an email if you are unsure about it, especially if it asks for personal financial information like your bank details.
“Top tip – hover over a link before you click on it check if the website URL looks familiar or trustworthy.
“Make sure you have a spam filter on your email account.”
Other tips include looking for grammar and spelling mistakes as well as seeing if the graphic design or image included is of poor quality.
The company added: “Make sure you trust and recognise the sender. Fraudsters often use subjects or greetings that are impersonal and general, like ‘Attention Royal Mail Customer’.
“They may use a forged email address in the ‘from’ field like ‘[email protected]’. They may even use the Royal Mail logo.”
The company warns that none of the above guarantees the email has come from them.
If customers receive a suspicious email, text message or call that claims to be from Royal Mail, the company asks it to be reported to [email protected]
Tony Pepper, CEO of cybersecurity firm Egress also shared how to report a suspicious looking email or text.
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.
“Unfortunately, these recent emails claiming to be from the Royal Mail are part of the latest scheme aimed at tricking people into parting with their money – and in many cases are using incredibly sophisticated tactics to do so.
“We would urge anyone who has received one of these emails to practice extreme caution when it comes to sharing your personal data. Royal Mail will only ever request payment for a fee due on a parcel by leaving a grey card at your address, and will only contact you via text or email if you’ve specifically requested it.
“If in doubt, contact Royal Mail directly to ensure that any communications you’ve received are legitimate. 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.”
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