An Express.co.uk reader got in touch after they received the message from a mobile phone number yesterday morning, December 10. Similar scams where fraudsters pretend to be from the Post Office have been reported recently.
The fake message reads: “POST OFFICE: Your parcel was returned to our depot after a failed delivery attempt. Your redelivery can be rearrange via: https://postoffice-depot-local.com.”
Scammers often send out texts like this with links to websites they control, where victims hand over personal and banking details.
They can use a person’s details for identity fraud, such as taking out loans in someone’s name.
Fraudsters sometimes even target the same person again, posing as their bank, in a bid to get the victim to send them money.
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Fortunately, in this case the ruse is easier to spot as the Post Office would never send out a text like this as it does not deliver mail itself.
The Post Office is a shop where people drop off items to be delivered, but the group does not carry out deliveries or look after undelivered post.
This is handled by Royal Mail, who will sometimes leave a red note through a person’s door, if the service has not been able to deliver a parcel.
People awaiting a parcel being delivered by Royal Mail may also be able to track where it is on the Royal Mail website.
He said: “We’re now seeing a rise in cost of living SMS scams in relation to energy rebates, tax rebates, or overcharges of phone bills.
“Understandably, people want to recover money that they believe they are owed, so they enter their card details to allow the ‘refund’.
“This then makes them more exposed to the follow-up safe account scam. Cost of living scams are on the rise, and banks aren’t reacting quick enough to provide effective warnings to stop people falling victim.”
One scam Refundee commonly sees reported is the “safe account” scam, when a person is conned into thinking their money is at risk and needs to be moved.
Mr Ayles explained: “A victim might receive a phishing SMS that convinces them that they should enter some card details.
“They do that and then shortly afterwards receive a call from their ‘bank’ (the fraudsters) who explain that the SMS was fraudulent, they have just shared card details, and now their entire bank account is at risk of theft.
“The victim then panics, and through this clouded judgement, the fraudsters then convince the victim to send their money (all of it normally) to a new bank account under a false name.
“They promise that the money will be returned to them after their account has been secured, but of course they never see it again.”