Online security - Suspicious emails
We have become aware of a number of malicious/spam emails that have been sent to various business and private email addresses, some of which belong to our customers.
Emails entitled - “Important shipping information and payment instructions”
The recipient believes they have successfully purchased an item through a website and the alleged seller explains through a series of emails that it is not possible to collect the item – even though in some cases it is clearly too large to do anything else – but instead payment needs to be made on delivery.
They are then sent an email purporting to be from Parcelforce Worldwide, stating that a sum of money needs to be paid in the specified manner in order for the goods to be released for delivery. In many cases, the email will include what looks like a valid tracking number and make a statement suggesting that it is ‘Pending’ until the payment is made and cannot be tracked.
THIS EMAIL IS NOT FROM PARCELFORCE WORLDWIDE. WE WOULD NEVER SEND UNSOLICITED EMAILS TO CUSTOMERS REQUESTING PAYMENT LIKE THIS.
If you receive an email like this, under no circumstances should you act on its request, but instead report it to the Police and the website on which the item was advertised. Please also forward the emails to email@example.com so that we are able monitor the numbers and, where possible, make follow up enquiries ourselves.
Emails containing “attachments”
The content of these emails varies, but includes reasons such as “problems with the delivery address”, “the parcel is too large/should be collected” or invites the recipient to “Track your parcel”. It may also include a description such as “Parcelforce Service”, which we would never use in any communication with our customers. In the event that our delivery driver is unable to deliver a parcel, they will leave a card which explains where you can collect the parcel or how to arrange a redelivery.
Some of the emails also have an attachment which is reported to have a virus – under NO circumstances should this be opened. We recommend that you delete the email from your inbox.
If you are suspicious upon receiving such an email, you should report it to the appropriate website and, if necessary, to the Police. We would advise the recipient of any unsolicited email never to open any links or attachments contained within it, but instead visit the website of the organisation concerned. Further help on Internet security issues can be found at www.getsafeonline.org
If you do receive a email which seems to be of a malicious/spam nature, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Delivery Address “Fraud”
Recently Royal Mail Group and Parcelforce Worldwide customers have been experiencing increased Fraud or Theft in the purchase and delivery of their products.
Has your address been used without your permission?
If a PFW driver attempts to deliver an item that no one in your property has ordered, it may be that it was purchased fraudulently. If you have reason to suspect that you may be the innocent victim of ID Theft or Fraud the advice is to:
- Refuse delivery of the item so that it is returned to sender and therefore logged and where possible, we will make follow up enquiries ourselves.
- Check your bank account and identity security
- Report the issue to the Police if there are any concerns
Ebay, Gumtree and Paypal also have advice pages that you can read.
For expert advice on other email scams, Identity Theft and Ebay or Paypal scams, visit the Safe from scams website