Monthly Message from the Fraud Team at Avon and Somerset Police

“Failed Delivery” Fraud

We are still receiving a high number of reports relating to text messages stating that a delivery has been attempted but the recipient was not home. To reschedule a new delivery date, the recipient is asked to click on a link to pay a fee, which takes them to a website requesting personal and financial information. It only takes someone to be waiting for a parcel, as many of us often are, to click on the link without much thought.

Of course, these details can be used to commit identity fraud and make fraudulent transactions. Clicking the link could also result in malicious spyware or viruses being downloaded. However, there is often a secondary element of this fraud known as “transfer into a safe account” fraud.

The victim may later be contacted by a fraudster, purporting to be from their bank. The fraudster will know who they bank with, along with other personal details, from the information harvested from the phishing text. They will claim that there has been fraud on their account and their funds are at risk, often saying something like, “you haven’t click on any links, have you?”. The victim, remembering the recent phishing text, is often convinced by the fraudster, feeling panicked by the thought of their funds being at risk. The fraudster explains that, in order to protect their funds, they need to transfer their funds into a “safe account”. The bank details provided simply belong to the fraudster.

These Covid scam texts work in the same way.