Police arrest eight men after Royal Mail text scam targeting shoppers

Eight people have been arrested after allegedly sending out fake text messages pretending to be Royal Mail workers.

The men – detained on suspicion of fraud – asked people to pay a fee to retrieve a parcel and asked for personal and bank details in a phishing scam, it is claimed.

The messages typically contain a link to a fake version of a trusted website.

Officers carried out busts in London, Coventry, Birmingham and Colchester.

They recovered stolen bank details and devices suspected of being used to send the messages.

Seven of those arrested have been released under investigation, while one man has been charged and is in custody.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson, head of the dedicated card and payment crime unit [DCPCU], said: "The success of these operations shows how through our close collaboration with Royal Mail, the financial services sector and mobile phone networks we are cracking down on the criminals ruthlessly targeting the public.

"Ongoing investigations are now under way and we will continue to work together to bring those committing phishing scams to justice."

Law enforcement officials ask the public to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign if they receive a suspicious message.

This is to stop and take a moment to think before parting with your money or information, challenge what you are being told, and call your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam.

Earlier this month, Royal Mail urged shoppers to keep their eyes peeled for the scam.

Social media users earlier shared pictures of the messages to warn others.

One Twitter user wrote: "Think we've got a scam going on @RoyalMail."

The woman then shared a picture of a text claiming to be from the delivery firm.

It read: "Royal Mail: Your Package has been held and will not be delivered due to a £1.99 unpaid shipping fee."

The message also asked the customer to pay by clicking on a link.

Another user added: "I had this one yesterday. Similar thing and a scam I'm sure."

They shared a similar message including a snippet of the fake scam.

It read: "Royal Mail: Please pay your dispatch fee immediately or your parcel will be returned to sender."

Royal Mail previously said it rarely sends texts and customers would only receive a message if they've opted for the service.

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