One of our most popular articles ran in November 2020 to report on which scams were annoying members of the IPS Facebook Community the most. We ran a survey to find out.
You can read that story here but below is our June 2021 update.
Protect your friends by sharing this article with them:
1. Royal Mail & Delivery Scams
This one appeared at number 5 in November but has surged as lockdown Britain stayed home during the long dark winter and kept buying things online. We dedicated a specific article to the Royal Mail back in March 2021 but the general approach (using a lot of text messaging tactics) remains the same and scammers are trying ever more elaborate versions of this winning formula with seeming impunity.
A typical scam text message looks like this.
Don’t click these links. Mostly you can ignore these messages. If you really are waiting for a delivery then you should call and check with the sender directly
HMRC & NI Scam
2. HMRC & NI Scams
This was number 3 in the November poll but has risen to number 2 in this league table which no brand would not want to top.
Scams relating to taxes owed and tax refunds surge around the 30 January deadline for the self-assessment process and the end of the financial year on 05 April. The criminals try to hurry you into reacting to their message. They either try to excite you that you are due a refund or scare you that you have to pay up or face a fine – or worse. They try to redirect you to a fake website or phone number to steal your data. We also wrote about the National Insurance scams that trick you into revealing personal information to fix ‘a problem with your National Insurance number’.
Don’t click these links. Mostly you can ignore these messages (the same advice as for Delivery Scams). If in doubt contact these official organisations yourself on your own terms. Don’t be hurried into anything you will come to regret.
Banking & Financial Scams
3. Banking & Financial Scams
Banking and financial are new to our top 5. There are a myriad of scams relating to investment advice, pensions guidance and crypto-currencies that contribute to this growing menace but our members have mostly complained about calls and text messages from scammers pretending to represent the bank (whether you bank with them or not). Very typical is a slew of SMS messages asking victims to study a request for a new payee and then link off to a scam website to harvest personal information.
Don’t click these links if you get a message like this. Banking and financial scams are a worry because of the potential life-changing damage they cause if a scammer accesses your account or tricks you into handing over a lot of money. Don’t do anything in a hurry. Check with the institution itself if you are worried or talk to a trusted friend for impartial advice. Don’t be embarrassed to double and triple check; it shows you are a smart investor if your knowledge of scams makes you more suspicious.
Prizes & Giveaways
4. Appliance Trials, Free Gifts, Special Offers & Prizes
This is a new category but has the feeling of a lockdown giveaway bonanza to excite people who have been stuck at home for too long. It probably doesn’t look so compelling in the summer with the barbeque on…
We include an example of this approach below that was shared around our Facebook Community. It claims to be from Currys PC World but the contact address at the bottom is in Chickasaw Florida. The use of language and grammar is all very strange as well. We have seen similar campaigns using the brand names of Argos, Dyson and Boots.
Amazon & Amazon Prime
5. Amazon & Amazon Prime
Last but not least are the Amazon related scams which we have written about previously here.
No doubt Amazon will be delighted to fall down these charts. We will see if they have disappeared when we run the next one in a few months. We have written enough about them and the scam attacks in their name already.
If IPS helped contribute to the effective spread of the warning messages against these scams then we feel delighted and vindicated. Now that Amazon has become even more firmly embedded in our daily lives we are potentially more confident and familiar in our communications with them – and comfortable to log-in to our accounts and check things out for ourselves.
Scammers get hold of phone numbers and email addresses through details being traded on the dark web. Billions of accounts have been compromised so you should be pro-active in taking measures to protect yourself. It is very likely you will be affected at some point. Take a look at all the tools we have included in our Premium plan to protect you and your data from scammers – in the Top 5 and beyond.
Strictly Necessary Cookie do not collect any personally identifiable information and are required to allow certain features to work correctly. These cookies cannot be disabled here.
3rd Party Cookies
This website uses Google Analytics and Hotjar to collect information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages. Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website. We use this data to learn what content users enjoy the most so that we can constantly improve it.