Action Fraud is reporting that a new parcel scam is on the rise.
Postcards are being delivered to UK addresses, which claim that a parcel - which supposedly contains jewellery - is being held in the name of the recipient.
The postcards being shoved through letterboxes say that your item is being held until you make a £10 payment for delivery. This, the card states, can only be paid via telephone, and only with a credit card. But there is no parcel, just a conman trying to part you from your money.
Here's exactly what each card says:
"The office is attempting to reach you. To claim this parcel and accept this offer, you must telephone the number below immediately and arrange for a delivery. The item is prepaid, but a processing and delivery fee of £10 must be remitted. This fee can be paid only by telephone and only with a credit card (VISA or MasterCard). This is your only notification"
While the message might set alarm bells ringing for many, some have already been caught out.
Victims who called the number and paid up said that the automated service told them that the package would arrive on the same day. They then alerted Action Fraud when they didn't receive anything.
Tackling the scam
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau was contacted by Action Fraud, and the phone number given on some of the cards has now been "disrupted".
However, slight variations of the scam are also out there, which use different phone numbers and alternative details about the content of the fictitious parcel.
So be wary. If you receive a postcard that you think looks suspect, don't pay! Call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online reporting tool.
And if any card comes through your door telling you to ring a premium rate number, you can contact PhonepayPlus on 0800 500 212 (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm) for guidance.
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