Eight arrested in raids over Royal Mail text scam

24 May 2021, 15:27 | Updated: 24 May 2021, 16:05

The fake messages ask people to pay a fee to retrieve a Royal Mail parcel
The fake messages ask people to pay a fee to retrieve a Royal Mail parcel. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A series of dawn raids have led to eight arrests as police investigate scam text messages claiming to be from Royal Mail.

Officers from a specialist unit of the City of London and Metropolitan Police carried out warrants in London, Coventry, Birmingham and Colchester over a week.

Eight men have been arrested on suspicion of fraud, for allegedly sending out fake messages asking people to pay a fee to retrieve a Royal Mail parcel.

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The scam messages, known as "smishing" texts, steal a victim's personal and bank details by getting them to follow a link to a fake version of a trusted website.

During the raids, investigators 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, 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 smishing 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.