On 4th February 2015, ActionFraud UK published an alert warning about scam postcards that have been delivered to residents in the UK.
The personally addressed and official looking postcards claim that a parcel is being held for you. The front of the cards inform you that ‘We Are Holding a Parcel in Your Name’. The back states that ‘This office is attempting to reach you’ and includes instructions for claiming your parcel (see screenshot below).
However, the cards are not legitimate parcel notifications.
The bogus post cards claim that, to accept the parcel, you must pay a £10 processing and delivery fee by credit card. The card notes the fee may only be paid via telephone. The message ends by warning that the current postcard will be your only notification.
If you call the phone number listed, you be asked to pay an immediate fee of £10 by credit card. After paying the fee, you will be told that the parcel will be delivered on the same day. But, victims tricked by the scam have reported that no parcel is ever delivered. The version discussed here claims that the parcel contains jewelry. However, the listed items and other details may vary in other versions of the scam.
ActionFraud are advising residents who receive the postcards not to call the number or pay any fee requested.
If you receive one of these cards you can report it to ActionFraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or by filling out their online form.
If residents receive a card containing a premium rate phone number and they are unsure about its legitimacy, they can check the number via the PhonepayPlus website and or call them on 0800 500 212.
PhonepayPlus also has a complaint form that people can complete if they have fallen victim to this telephone scam. If you have supplied your credit card details via the scam, you should contact your bank or credit card provider and report the matter immediately.
Note that this legitimate scam alert should not be confused with a highly misleading and very outdated message that warns about a package delivery card from PDS (Parcel Delivery Service). The PDS scam described was more or less true several years ago, but it was shut down in late 2005 and has not reoccurred. And, even when the scam was operating, victims were certainly not charged £315 as claimed in newer versions of the ‘warning’ message.