Case Studies

Delivery email and other scams

by Mark Rowe

A delivery email scam is claiming that the recipient missed a parcel delivery by DPD and that a new delivery will need to be scheduled. The email, clad in DPD branding and designed to look like a genuine company email message, quotes a parcel delivery number and claims that “we tried to deliver your parcel today, but you weren’t in, or there was no safe place to leave it.”

The email contains a link, supposedly to schedule a new delivery; however, the linked page requests that the individual pay a sum of money. This is simply an attempt to steal money from the recipient, says the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).

CTSI Lead Officer, Katherine Hart, said: “Online sales have boomed due to the pandemic, and fraudsters are using the branding of delivery companies in their campaigns to steal money. Because of the sharp rise in online sales, many more people are expecting deliveries, making this scam even more dangerous.

“There are many different versions of the scam, and I have witnessed evidence of scammers using other delivery company logos, including Royal Mail, Hermes and others. This is an increasingly vulnerable time for the public due to the pandemic, and I urge everyone to be aware, and report instances of these scams to Action Fraud, or if in Scotland, to call Police Scotland.”

Meanwhile the counter-fraud trade body Cifas understands that a new bitcoin investment scam email is in circulation with Action Fraud receiving over 400 reports of this scam in two days. These emails are designed to link to legitimate-looking pages from the BBC or Mirror websites promoting bitcoin investment, and victims are reporting losses of up to £200,000 after following links to these websites, as well as through AOL, MSN, Yahoo and Facebook.

Cifas is reminding anyone that has seen an investment opportunity on social media or on the internet which offers high returns and is celebrity endorsed, then it is probably a scam. Most cryptocurrencies aren’t regulated by the UK financial services regulator the FCA which means they are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so it’s important that you do your research before making any investments.

Among other recent scams; fake emails and texts claiming to be from the NHS urging people to book an appointment for a covid vaccination. These messages often contain hyperlinks to book a slot, with victims being asked to enter personal or financial information. Some people have even reported fake NHS staff visiting their home asking for payment to give the vaccine.

Netflix customers are being warned of fake emails purporting to be from the streaming service asking them to update their payment details; and social media users continue to be targeted by fraudsters purporting to be high-street names offering free gifts to take part in surveys or competitions.

Cifas’ Head of Fraud Intelligence, Amber Burridge, said: ‘Criminals are continuing to take advantage of the vaccine rollout and the increase in online activity to trick people into parting with their money and details. With many people now reliant on the internet while in lockdown, criminals are deliberately targeting the public through these online channels.

‘I would urge anyone receiving requests for funds or information from sources they do not know and trust to take a moment and consider the potential consequences of parting with their cash or details.’

What to do

To report email scams, contact the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) by emailing [email protected]. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

If you think you’ve fallen for a scam then you must contact your bank at once; and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online, via If you are in Scotland, then report to Police Scotland by calling 101 or Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6400.

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