Top 3 scams to watch out for this week

We are delighted to have thousands of members pro-actively sharing information about the scams they are seeing.

Below are the IPS members’ ‘Top 3’ on 8 December 2021.

Make sure you are up to date with their advice on how to avoid them. 

Please share this with your friends and family to keep them aware and protected.

Omicron

1 - NHS Omicron PCR Tests

What is the scam and how does it works 

Out of the blue contact (emails, texts and in some cases telephone calls) from scammers pretending to be from the NHS.  They will offer targets a PCR tests which will supposedly  ‘identify the Omicron variant’. 

Member’s quote / details 

“IPS, is this a genuine mail? 

Wouldn’t order from an email anyway, just want to know. 

Thank you” 

What IPS suggests you do  

  • Check the sender email address. The address for the real NHS ends nhs.uk and NOT contact-nhs@contactnhs.com. 
  • The NHS would never contact you out of the blue like this.
  • Contact your medical practice directly to check if it is genuine 
  • Do not click on any links 
  • The NHS never ask for bank details. 
  • Do not volunteer any personal or financial information. 
  • THERE IS NO SUCH PRODUCT OR TEST 
  • DELETE THE EMAIL 
  • Forward this type of email to report@phishing.gov.uk
Delivery

2 - Delivery scams

How this scam works

You may be expecting lots of packages in the days leading up to Christmas, so a text to say your “parcel couldn’t be delivered”, from Royal Mail or DPD would not be completely out of the ordinary. Scammers are sending these alerts to huge numbers of potential victims and obviously getting enough ‘bites’ to keep doing it.  

The scam email or text informs you that an expected parcel is being held as a ‘payment is required prior to delivery’. This payment is usually for a nominal amount so as not to raise suspicion – £2.99 has been mentioned several times.   This way the scammer tries to capture financial or personal details that they can use repeatedly.

Member quote

“I had a text today saying that Hermes had tried to deliver a parcel and I’d have to pay £1.99 for the delivery. 

That made me suspicious as I hadn’t ordered anything, but it is my birthday on Friday…. 

When I checked the number: (07551558188) online it flashed up that it has been checked and reported before as a scam.

I’m sure it is definitely a scam although the text message looked quite convincing. 

Beware! 

What IPS suggests you do 

  • If you are expecting a parcel, then track or contact the delivery company independently (using a national phone number or email address) to confirm for yourself.   Or log in to the online shopping account you used more recently to check. 
  • Never click on any links or give away personal or financial details. 
  • If you are not expecting a parcel, then delete the email or text.
  • Report these scams to the delivery companies themselves. (Each company will have a dedicated department for such matters.) 
  • Forward suspicious and scam texts to 7726. This is a free service to any customers of the major mobile operators and you will receive an automated ‘thank you’ by return. Incidentally, on a classic keypad 7726 spells SPAM! 
Paypal

3 - Paypal Scams

What is the scam?

Scammers will send emails and text  messages informing victims that ‘there are issues and anomalies within their PayPal accounts’. 

They will often send bogus receipts for non -existent purchases  and ask you to contact them.  They are looking for financial information that they can then use.  You can find more information from PayPal here 

Member quote

“I got an email this morning from PayPal saying ” Thanks for my purchase and sign up to a monthly subscription.  Phone us if you want to cancel it”.  I deleted the email straight away.”

What IPS suggests you do  

  • If you do not have a PayPal account then you can immediately delete and ignore the message.
  • Never click on any links and do not volunteer any personal or financial information.
  • If you have a PayPal account, either log in to it or contact them independently to check and then and report the issue.
  • Report a fake PayPal email by forwarding it to  spoof@paypal.com.
  • If you have provided any personal information after receiving a scam email, you can then log into PayPal and change your password and security questions.
  • Please forward suspicious and scam texts to 7726. The service is free, and the matter reported to you service provider.

If you found this article interesting – have a look at our previous Scam Alerts.

Please share this with family and friends to help protect them and keep them safe from scams and fraud.

To report scams you may have experienced to other community members, please join our IPS Members Community Facebook group or log into your IPS account and comment below.  Alternatively, please email us with your story – hello@ipscommunity.co.uk

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