Consumers Warned of Surging Delivery Text Scams Ahead of Christmas

Consumers have been warned to stay vigilant of delivery scam texts while online shopping for Christmas and during the Boxing Day sales.

UK Finance cited new data from cybersecurity firm Proofpoint showing that delivery ‘smishing’ scams are surging amid the busiest shopping period of the year. This showed that over half (55.94%) of all reported smishing text messages impersonated parcel and package delivery companies so far in Q4 2021. This compares to just 16.37% of smishing attempts in Q4 2020, more than tripling the proportion year-on-year.

Proofpoint also observed a significant drop-off in other types of smishing scams in Q4 2021 compared to Q4 2020. For example, text scams impersonating financial bodies and banks made up 11.73% of smishing attacks in 2021, compared to 44.57% in 2020.

The data comes from the NCSC’s 7726 text message system, operated by Proofpoint. This system enables customers to report suspicious texts.

Typically, delivery smishing scams start with the fraudster sending a fake text message informing the recipient that the courier has been unable to make a delivery and requesting a fee or additional details to rearrange. The consumer will be given a link to a fraudulent website impersonating the package delivery company, in which they are prompted to provide personal and financial details.

This type of scam has become increasingly prominent following the enormous growth in online shopping during COVID-19. Earlier this year, Proofpoint 

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