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Alert from the Police and the consumer magazine Which of a new twist on a delivery scam – extra caution advised

Iba A new twist on a delivery scam sees the perpetrators creating fake chatbots that sneakily sign victims up for expensive monthly subscriptions. The UK has been bombarded with bogus texts and emails that impersonate Royal Mail and other large delivery companies in the past year. Which? has already warned the public about scammers posing as delivery companies to steal money from payment cards, or following up fake delivery texts by impersonating banks. These scammers have stepped up a gear, by sending phishing emails inviting you to ‘start a chat’ to trace a delivery. Read more: – Which? How to spot a genuine Royal Mail email or text Royal Mail explains how to distinguish a genuine message from a fake: Royal Mail will only send email and SMS notifications to customers 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, Royal Mail leaves a grey ‘Fee To Pay’ card. It doesn’t for payment by email or text. The only time Royal Mail asks customers to make a payment by email or by SMS is in instances where a customs fee is due. In such cases, it also leaves a grey card telling customers that there’s a ‘Fee to Pay’ before releasing the item. This would apply either to an international customs fee or to a surcharge for an underpaid item. If you do have a fee to pay, you don’t need to click any links in texts or emails. The website is, so type this into the address bar to make sure you don’t inadvertently click on a link for a fake site. A Royal Mail spokesperson said: ‘The security of our customers is a high priority for Royal Mail. On our website, we offer advice and information on what customers should do if they receive a suspicious email, text message, or telephone call that claims to be from Royal Mail, or if they discover a Royal Mail branded website that they think is fraudulent.’ ‘This advice includes reminding customers to never click on a link in an email if they are unsure about it, especially if it asks for personal financial information like your bank details. We also advise customers never to send sensitive, personal information, security details or credit card numbers by email or text.’ How to report scams You can report scam texts by forwarding the message to 7726 (this spells SPAM on a phone keypad), which is a free reporting service provided by phone operators. You can report dodgy websites to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) using its suspicious website tool, or forward phishing emails to its inbox. If you spot a suspicious advert online (on social media, newspaper websites, search engines) can be reported to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Read more: – Which?

Pepper’s A Safe Place needs volunteers

Would you like to support your community’s mental health and help combat loneliness? Are you an empathetic and friendly person? Are you a good listener? Would you be able to donate some time on a Monday evening?
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