Thursday 13 May 2021

Scam delivery emails and texts - what to do...

I'm willing to bet you've had at least one or two texts or emails over the last few weeks from delivery companies telling you that there's money to pay before they can make your delivery. Or perhaps asking you to contact them so that they can rearrange a delivery. Yep, me too - lots of them. I like to think I'm pretty savvy when it comes to this kind of thing, but I confess there's been once or twice when I've received a text and found my finger hovering over the link ready to click before I realised what I was doing. 

Here's an example of a text I received two days ago:

The trouble is, fraudsters know that we're all ordering more online these days - and that means that most of the time, when you receive one of these messages, there's every chance you are actually expecting a delivery. It all makes sense... and that's how they get us!

So, I wanted to give you a head's up about these scams to try and help you avoid getting tricked.

  1. These messages can look very official - they will mention Royal Mail, Hermes, DPD, DHL, etc etc. Very often the link that they're asking you follow even looks sort of right - they'll have things like 'royalmail' as part of the address in the link (see my example above!). Emails will look as though the sender is one of these companies. They will do everything they can to make it look right and proper. My advice, whenever you receive one of these texts or messages, is to pause for a moment before you click. When we're in a rush, worried about the delivery of a parcel, or distracted, it's very easy to just quickly click on these links. So stop and take a moment to think! Hovering your mouse over a link or button in an email without clicking on it will show where it's taking you, and often reveals an address that won't look right.
  2. Things to look out for in scam emails or texts: 1) Poor language, gramatical errors, spelling mistakes; 2) the greeting might look strange, eg 'Dear customer', 'Dear Sir/Madam', etc; 3) a strange looking email address; 4) you will be urged to follow a link or click on a button and the link might also look slightly 'off' when you view it.
  3. Very often, these texts and emails will be asking for a relatively small amount of money. There's good reason for this: it's because fraudsters know that tiny amounts won't make people pause and question quite so much. People are busy and can be so easily fooled into thinking "it's only £1.09". But that's not the case. When you pay that £1.09 that could reveal your personal information to the fraudsters: you may find more money disappears from your bank account, or your information is cloned. 
  4. Royal Mail will only send service update emails or texts to customers, they will NEVER ask for any payments. If an item has been underpaid or there's a service charge they will let you know by posting a 'Fee to Pay' grey card through your door - they won't contact you any other way. (The only time this is different is if there's a customs fee due for international deliveries, although they would also leave a grey card too.) Royal Mail will never ask for your credit card or bank details, or for personal information - and they don't ask you to phone them to arrange delivery of an item being held for collection. If Royal Mail have an item they couldn't deliver, they will post a red 'Something for you/Sorry we missed you' card through your door. You can find more help and information, including scam examples, on the Royal Mail site here:
  5. Don't call any number as it's likely it will be a premium rate phone call or you will be asked for personal information or your bank details.
  6. Courier companies such as Hermes etc, have a similar arrangement to Royal Mail. They will never ask for payment for non-delivery or underpayment of an item.
  7. If you receive a text or email, and you think it might be real and referring to a delivery you're expecting, contact the seller of the item you're expecting BEFORE clicking on any links and ask for their advice.
When you receive scams like these delete them, and if you can, block them. However, if you'd like to go one step further and report them to the authorities you can do that:

  1. Forward texts to phone number 7726 (it spells SPAM on your keyboard). This will forward the message to your mobile phone provider and is free of charge. All providers collate this information and can block the number to prevent it being sent to you again, or to others. For more information, visit the Which site here: or the Ofcom site here:
  2. Forward emails to email address which will forward the email to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS). For more information visit the Gov website here:
  3. If you think you have already been scammed, visit the Action Fraud website here: and contact your bank or credit card company straight away to tell them you may have been a victim of fraud.

If you'd like more information, visit and

Stay safe!


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