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Royal Mail responds on parcel text scams and how to spot an attempted fraud

Royal Mail has responded over the issue of phoney texts that claim it needs payment for a parcel delivery.

Among the latest scams circulating on mobile phones are messages that appear to come from Royal Mail, asking for an unpaid shipping bill to be settled before it can deliver a package to an address.

Seven out of 10 people in a Which? survey who had received a fraudulent text say they have had one purporting to be from Royal Mail.

READ MORE: Hermes parcel scam text warning – latest alarming messages and what to do

Royal Mail has explained how to spot a bogus message – and what it does in cases where there are fees still to be paid.

It told Which?: “We remind our customers that Royal Mail will only send email and SMS notifications in cases where the sender has requested this when using our trackable products that offer this service.

“In cases where customers need to pay a surcharge for an underpaid item, we would let them know by leaving a grey ‘fee to pay’ card. We would not request payment by email or text.

“The only time we would ask customers to make a payment by email or by text is in some instances where a customs fee is due. In such cases, we would also leave a grey card telling customers that there’s a fee to pay before we can release the item.”

Other delivery firms have also issued statements in response to the Which? survey.

DHL said: “We’re alerting our customers via social media and on our public websites that there are fraudulent SMS messages circulating.”

DPD said: “Our focus has been on providing parcel recipients with a safe alternative to text and email notification and raising awareness of safe links.”

Hermes said: “Hermes would never ask for payment for redelivery and we advise customers to remain vigilant.”

UPS said: “While we are not liable for the actions of third parties, we work to prevent and detect fraud where possible.”

Mobile UK said: “As an industry, we have been taking action to fight the ever-changing scourge of spam texts and calls for many years and educating customers on how to identify and report suspicious activity.”

Here are some scam text tips from Which?:

  • Report the scam text by forwarding it to the network provider on 7726.
  • If you have fallen victim, contact your bank to ensure the scammer cannot take any more money from your account and ask to be reimbursed. Many banks have promised to reimburse blameless victims by signing up to a voluntary code protecting bank transfer scams. However, banks may challenge customers if they think the customer did not take precautions.
  • If you are unable to get your money back from the bank and feel this is unfair, you could complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

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