Text message fraudsters pocket £54million in the past year as scams double

TEXT message fraudsters netted £54million in the past year as scams doubled.

Many pose as delivery services to trick pandemic shoppers.

One message sent to millions of UK phones reads: “Royal Mail: Your package has a £2.99 shipping fee”. It tells people to visit a web link where they are asked for financial details.

In a follow-up phone call, the crooks tell people their security has been breached and they need to move money to another account.

One pensioner was tricked into sending £20,000 to an account he believed was his sister-in-law’s. Co-op bank staff grew suspicious and called cops.

Impersonation scams rocketed from 9,000 to 18,000 last year, says UK Finance.

The National Crime Agency wants to make it harder to register fake websites such as royalmail.tech.

Ben Russell, of the National Economic Crime Centre, said 36,000 scams across 71,000 web pages had been removed over the past year.

US-based Namecheap said it fights a “constant battle” against scammers, and no longer allows anyone to ­register a domain with Royal Mail in the title, including if it is misspelt.

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