Delivery scams skyrocket in pandemic with 60% of Britons targeted | criminality


False delivery scams have skyrocketed during the pandemic, with more than 60% of Britons saying they have received at least one such text in the past year, according to research by consumer rights group Which? found.

Scams are so widespread that even entirely new mobile phone numbers that have not been shared receive fraudulent text messages within days of setting up new accounts.

Thanks to the pandemic, e-commerce has exploded in Britain, in turn making bogus deliveries a successful avenue for crooks seeking to trick unsuspecting shoppers into passing on personal information and emptying their bank accounts. Texts, which usually claim that a package has missed its delivery window or requires payment of a fee, are often the first foot in a chain of attacks that can lead victims to have to empty their entire contents. Bank accounts.

While 70% of those who said they received such a scam said they understood what it was immediately, one in 30 said they lost money as a result of a scam.

To test the scope of the scams, which ones? created four new mobile phone accounts, one with each of the UK’s largest telephone networks. Within two weeks, two of the numbers had received fraudulent text messages, although they had never been used before.

“Our research shows how fraudsters have bombarded Britain with industry-wide fraudulent delivery texts as they attempt to exploit unprecedented pandemic conditions,” said Adam French, consumer rights expert within the organization.

“Couriers and the telecommunications industry must take additional steps to protect consumers, making it harder for fraudsters to exploit systemic weaknesses to reach potential victims, and educating people on how to spot these scams. .

“In the meantime, people can sign up for Which? Scam alert service to keep themselves, their friends and family informed of the latest tactics being used by scammers.”

In the first week of December 2020, Action Fraud, the UK-wide fraud reporting center, said it heard from 35 victims who lost a total of £ 103,000 due to a single campaign scam falsely claiming to be from DPD.

Katy Worobec, head of economic crime at industry body UK Finance, said: “Always take a moment to stop and think before parting with your information or your money, and avoid clicking on links. in an email or text message in case this is a scam. . “

According to a study by identity protection company Callsign, a quarter of Internet users worldwide say they receive more messages from fraudsters than their friends and family. When spam emails were factored in, the average user received more than 1,000 scam messages per year, the company said.

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