Martin Lewis says he’s in a ‘cold fury’ over online scams
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The text, which warns of a failed attempted delivery and asks for shipping fees of £1.99, cons victims into revealing their financial details. Criminals can then use these details to authorise bank and credit loans, and many UK residents have lost thousands of pounds.
The high street bank issued the warning on social media, with an image of a fraudulent text appearing to be from the Post Office.
The text looks convincing, asking users to click on the link and pay a postage fee of £1.99.
Halifax urged people to never reply, or click on a link, if they are not sure that it’s real.
“Fraudsters can send texts that look real, if you get one like this, don’t reply or click on any links,” a spokesperson said.
Two fifths of people have received a scam text (Image: Getty)
“To check if it’s real, call the company on a number from their site.”
As well as deleting the fraudulent message, you can text 7726 to report the scam.
Text scams claiming to be from Royal Mail and parcel delivery services have soared over the past 18 months as scammers have taken advantage of more and more people doing their shopping online during the pandemic.
According to figures from consumer champion Which, three-fifths of British people have received fake messages from Royal Mail, UPS, Hermes and other delivery companies claiming there have been issues with a delivery.
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When Which? member Jon received a text claiming to be from Royal Mail asking him to pay £2.99 for a delivery, he was actually waiting for a delivery.
He followed the link in the text that took him to a convincing copy of the Royal Mail website, where he was asked to enter his bank details.
‘I would never normally give my bank details to anyone, but the website was so genuine looking,” he told Which?.
“I did everything you’re supposed to, including checking if the URL was right. The scammers just caught me at the wrong time,’ Jon said.
Scam texts can fool anyone (Image: Getty)
If you get a message that seems odd, you should follow these steps:
Do not reply – even if you think you know the sender, don’t reply to a text or email message if it seems odd.
Do not open any links or attachments – scam texts and emails can put a virus on your phone or computer.
Call the company – if you’re not sure, phone the company on a number you trust or visit their website by typing their web address directly into the address bar at the top of your screen.
What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea
Forward the message to the fraud team – or forward any scam emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Brits can also forward the message to their network provider – 7726 to report the scam text for free.
If in doubt, never reply and call your bank or delivery service provider to confirm whether it’s genuine.
If anyone does lose money, report it to Action Fraud (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or Police Scotland (for Scotland).