Text scams claiming to be from parcel delivery services have boomed over the past year as we relied more on online shopping during the pandemic. As many as three-fifths of British people have received fake messages from Royal Mail, UPS, Hermes and other delivery companies claiming there have been issues with a package.
Today, consumers have been warned of yet another sophisticated trick doing the rounds over text. Which? reported scammers are sending fake DPD SMS messages to mobile numbers. These very convincing texts alert recipients of a supposed unsuccessful delivery attempt. They provide a link to arrange redelivery – but experts are urging people not to click.
Opening the fake link will take you to an almost-perfect copy of the DPD website. There, you’ll be asked to enter personal details and make a payment to ensure redelivery. Entering your bank details could give the criminals access to your bank account – which they can wipe clean with ease.
Many are sure to have been taken in already: the hoax site looks almost exactly the same as the real DPD website. It has a tracking page with the DPD logo, tagline and a table with fake information showing where the parcel has been. But the scammers did make some subtle mistakes. Some of the dates might not be formatted correctly and the website will stop you from taking screenshots.
DPD told Which? in a statement: “We continue to stress that only emails sent from one of three DPD email addresses are genuine, these are dpd.co.uk, dpdlocal.co.uk and dpdgroup.co.uk.
“With texts, we advise consumers to double check the links within the notifications to confirm that they are legitimate. These links should only be for www.dpd.co.uk/ or www.dpdlocal.co.uk/. We have worked with Action Fraud and regional police focus in the last couple of years on awareness campaigns and will continue to do so.”
Text scams are a common type of fraud. Scammers send out messages to as many phone numbers as possible, hoping to catch people unawares. Hundreds of people have been taken in and had thousands of pounds swiped from their accounts.
However, there are easy ways to protect yourself. The National Cyber Security Centre recommends these steps:
- Don’t click links in SMS messages, especially if they say you have a limited time to respond or try to scare you. This is a common tactic scammers use to stop you thinking clearly.
- Check the URL of the link to make sure it matches the company website address. Visit the official website or phone their advertised number instead of using contact details in the SMS.
- Report the text by forwarding it to 7726 – which spells out “spam” – so your network provider can investigate
- If you have filled in your bank details, contact your bank right away to see if they can get your money back
- If you do lose money, report it to Action Fraud (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or Police Scotland (for Scotland).