Derry people warned against 'package scams' ahead of Black Friday

The Consumer Council is warning consumers to stay safe from parcel delivery scams during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the upcoming Christmas shopping period.

Delivery scams is where a text message is sent, telling the receiver that they need to pay for their package to be delivered. Scammers then use these details to take money from your accounts.

Michael Legg, Head of Postal Services at the Consumer Council, said: “Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great opportunities to get a good deal. However, they are also an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of online shoppers. The types of scams people are targeted with have become more sophisticated, with emails and text messages that appear to be from legitimate sources.

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“Our research shows that, of those who have experienced a scam in Northern Ireland over the last three years, 59% were targeted by parcel delivery scams. This is where you receive an email or text message relating to a parcel, asking for your bank details to release, redeliver, or confirm the package.

Parcel scams are more common this time of year.

“With almost 90% of consumers in Northern Ireland shopping online, it is of the utmost importance to stay safe from these types of scams. To avoid becoming a victim:

Never click on links in text messages or emails – Contact the retailer you bought from or visit the courier’s website if you are genuinely expecting a parcel and believe there is an issue. Never disclose your bank details – Delivery companies will never ask for these to release your parcel. Do not reply – If you receive a suspicious text, forward it to 7726. Suspicious emails should be forwarded to [email protected] Stop and think – Remember if you did not order something online, then the text must be fake.

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“If you believe that you have been victim of this type of scam, you can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or the PSNI on 101.”

The Consumer Council provides a variety of support and information about parcel deliveries and staying safe from scams. Support and information are available online at www.consumercouncil.org.uk, by calling Freephone 0800 121 6022 or by emailing [email protected]

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Never pay for something or give your card details unless you are sure that it is not a scam.