With many people ordering online this Christmas, huge numbers of parcels are being expected by households in the coming days.
Last-minute Christmas shoppers are therefore being warned that scam delivery text messages are on the increase, as thousands of Brits received mysterious messages on the phones.
UK Finance, a trade association representing banks and other financial firms, said just over half (55 per cent) of all reported “smishing” text messages in the final three months of this year have claimed to be from parcel delivery firms.
This has more than tripled since the same period in 2020, when 16.37 per cent bogus texts were about parcels.
UK Finance obtained the figures from cybersecurity company Proofpoint, which operates the 7726 text message system on behalf of mobile phone operators. The system allows customers to report suspect texts.
The reports are being used by the National Cyber Security Centre to take down fraudulent website URLs and prevent further losses to scams.
Fake texts often claim the courier has been unable to make a delivery and ask the recipient to pay a fee or provide additional details in order to rearrange delivery.
There is then a link to a fake website asking for personal and financial information.
UK Finance is also warning shoppers to look out for purchase scams.
It said social media platforms and auction websites are…