LAST week, we ordered a new teapot via our Amazon Prime account, and next day, I received a text from MyHermes to say delivery issues and to click on an unrecognised link, OR my order would be returned to supplier. I blocked sender and reported on 7726, since this was clearly a false message. Then, next day, I read about a resurgence in fake MyHermes texts trying to lure recipients into bank transfer scams. The scammers have been changing their tactics to try to catch you out. They want to get hold of your details, including who you bank with, so they can later call you pretending to be that bank and warn victims that their account has been compromised, persuading them to send their money to a new ‘safe account.’ But this is all a lie. Scam texts claiming to be from Hermes have been circulating for a long time, but recently the scammers behind them have been trying to make their attempts to con you more convincing.
The scams start out as a text message saying you’ve either missed a delivery or there’s a fee to pay for a parcel. They include a link that takes you through to enter details or make a small payment. But Hermes never asks for payments via text – it only sends links that let you view parcel tracking. Customers have wised up to this, so scammers now include other details to mimic real Hermes texts, and offer links to ‘track’ a parcel. Some now include estimated time of delivery and name of a big retailer, sometimes shortly followed up with a fake missed delivery notification from the same number. The number one piece of advice for avoiding being scammed: avoid following any links you’re sent in text messages. Contact the organisation or company the message claims to be from directly to check the details if you’re not sure. Don’t forget that you can share suspicious texts with your network provider by forwarding them to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keyboard). Cloned sites should be reported to the National Cyber Security Centre on email@example.com
Finally, further good news for us all A new banking emergency hotline has been launched for people to report and check financial scams as they happen. A potential victim who dials 159 will be automatically connected to their bank's fraud prevention service. Anyone who receives a call or message from somebody claiming to be from a trusted organisation, and who suggests money should be transferred, is being urged to hang up and call 159. The new service is being promoted by Stop Scams UK - a coalition of banking and technology companies. Initially, the project is being run for a year, but it is to become a universal service eventually. However, not all banks and building societies are signed up. TSB will not join until January. Banks taking part include Barclays, Lloyds (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland), NatWest (including Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank), Santander and Starling Bank.
Nationwide Building Society intends to join, but also launched its own version on Monday. More than 80% of UK mobiles and landlines will be able to use 159 at the outset, costing the same as a national rate call. There is also an accompanying website. https://stopscamsuk.org.uk/159
If you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills or outstanding debts, Citizens Advice may be able to help. Citizens Advice Sefton telephone service is available: Help To Claim advice line number for help claiming Universal credit is 0800 144 8444. 8am to 6pm. Mon to Fri. For general advice . 0808 278 7841 (freephone) Mon – Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm and text relay for people with hearing impairment: Text relay: 03444 111 445 for people with hearing impairment .The debt number is 0151 318 6407. 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri. Our local website address is- www.https://seftoncab.org.uk/
Citizens Advice Lancashire West telephone is available between 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday, & 9.00am and 1.00pm Saturdays on Adviceline 0344 245 1294 and Help to Claim line 0800 144 8 444. Their website address is – www.citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk