Award-winning financial journalist Martin Lewis has warned the public of a ‘clever’ new delivery scam which has been going around since early 2020. Martin, who founded MoneySavingExpert.com, told his 1.5 million Twitter followers that he had received one of the scam texts himself.
The consumer champion has warned the public that the offending text tells those who receive it that a parcel for them has been delayed or needs to be rescheduled, and asks them to pay a ‘fee’. Sadly, some recipients have fallen for the scam and had their bank details stolen.
Warning his followers on Twitter, Martin wrote: “Beware. Just had a clever version of the ‘pay £1.99 for Post Office Parcel delivery’ scam text, aiming to steal bank info.”
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He added: “The ‘fee’ isn’t mentioned in the text, it talks about “delays in transit” and offers “a date to reschedule”. It’s only when you click thru it mentions a fee.”
Although the scam has been widely documented on social media, arguably, not everyone would have seen these warnings. One of Martin’s followers, Rustam Roy, replied: “We need the Government to be much more proactive here, in terms of informing the public about these scams. We need more leaflets and TV adverts, aimed at older people, to show them examples.”
Martin responded: “Sorry to disagree but no we don’t. There are too many scams to inform esp the vuknerable [sic] of em all. We need better laws and regulation to prevent scams, and govt to actually fund police to investigate & prosecute these criminals, rather than let them scam & defraud with impunity.”
The warning from Martin comes at a time when young adults are the most likely age group to have been scammed in recent months, according to new research by Barclays. According to the bank’s data 25%, or one in four, scam victims between March and May 2022 were aged between 21 and 30.
In a separate survey done by Barclays, it was found that, out of 2,000 people aged between 21 and 30, 76% of this age group are confident they will not fall for a scam. The bank says that scams often take place on tech platforms such as social media, purchase/auction websites, or dating apps – leaving young people especially susceptible.
The most common type of scam is said to be purchase scams, where people buy goods that either never arrive, or arrive but do not resemble the product advertised. These scams, according to Barclays’ data, are the most common form of scams, accounting for 60% of all scams in the last three months.
People aged 21 to 30 made up 28% of purchase scam victims in the statistics, compared with 4% who are aged 61 to 70 and just 2% who are over 70. Ross Martin, head of digital safety at Barclays, said: “Many people picture an elderly person when they think of a scam victim, and, while it’s true that older people are more likely to fall for higher value scams, the most common type of scams are where people are tricked into buying something they never receive.”
Ross added: “The best advice is if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
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