Royal Mail customers are being warned about a new scam.
A convincing scam email has been circulated that is targeting users, the Express reports.
It is asking people to pay just a £1.99 fee for an undelivered item of mail – but while the sum might seem small, what they actually want is bank account details.
Now Local Neighborhood Watch schemes have issued a warning urging customers to be extra careful about the new phishing scam.
It comes after a message that was recently received by a Royal Mail customer.
The email claimed that Royal Mail had tried to deliver a letter unsuccessfully.
And it simply asked the resident to pay a fee of £1.99 in order to redeliver the item.
To do this, they were encouraged to enter bank details online in order to complete the transaction.
Both the low fee and the style of the email made the recipient think it could be legitimate.
Just to be on the safe side, however, they contacted fraud experts first – and were warned off.
The email was sent to a homeowner in the Buckinghamshire area – and now customers across the UK have been urged to be careful.
Ray Walsh, digital privacy expert at ProPrivacy, said: “Anybody who receives an email claiming to be from the Royal Mail must remember that they will not ever be asked to pay a redelivery fee.
“Never input your bank or card information after following a link on any email that claims it is from the Royal Mail, because it will result in your card details being stolen by criminals.
“If you have reason to believe that you may have been tricked, it is essential that you contact your bank and cancel your card at once. Additionally, check your statements for any signs of unauthorised transactions.”
The Royal Mail has also got advice for anyone who thinks they could be getting tricked.
A statement on its website said: “If you receive a suspicious email or discover a Royal Mail-branded website which you think is fraudulent, please let us know by contacting us.
“If you have been the victim of a payment scam, you can get a crime reference number by reporting it to your local police station.”
Customers are being told to make sure they check the subject line and email address before responding to any messages.
“Fraudsters often use subjects or greetings that are impersonal and general, like ‘Attention Royal Mail Customer’,” the statement said.
“They may use a forged email address in the ‘from’ field like ‘[email protected]’. They may even use the Royal Mail logo. None of this guarantees the email has come from us.
“The sender, subject and content may change slightly but often they:
- State there’s a parcel waiting to be collected
- Ask for payment before an item can be released for delivery
- Prompt you to open a link or document
- Ask you to send a text message or call a phone premium rate phone number.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson added: ” Royal Mail Group takes a serious approach to scam mail and understands the upset that it can cause households across the country, including vulnerable people.
“Any members of the public who believe they or a family member is receiving scam mail can report it to our dedicated helpline on [email protected], or 0800 0113466. Alternatively, they can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit their website and use their online reporting tool.”
The National Cyber Security Centre says that cyber criminals have seen the pandemic as an ideal opportunity to rip people off.
Its website states: “While everyone is worried about the coronavirus, cyber criminals have seen this as an opportunity. In emails and on the phone, they may claim to have a ‘cure’ for the virus, offer financial rewards, or encourage you to donate to worthy causes. Like many scams, these criminals are preying on real-world concerns to try to trick you into interacting. They may also mimic real NHS messages.
“These scam messages can be very hard to spot. They are designed to get you to react without thinking.
“If you think you’ve already responded to a scam, don’t panic. Whether you were contacted by phone, email, or text message, there’s lots you can do to limit any harm.”
All suspicious text messages should be forwarded to 7726 . This free-of-charge short code enables your provider to investigate the origin of the text and take action if necessary
For more advice from the NCSC, go here.