As Christmas approaches and consumers become ever more eager to ensure the parcels they have ordered online arrive in time, a major alert over a new delivery hoax appears to be a hoax itself.
According to some reports, Royal Mail – along with Trading Standards and Action Fraud – is urging consumers to be on their guard over a scam involving a card being posted through doors claiming to be from the Parcel Delivery Service (PDS).
They go on to claim that the card explains how the firm was unable to deliver the parcel and points customers to premium rate number to re-arrange delivery. However, once customers call the number and are connected to a recorded message, they are automatically charged £315.
However, PhonepayPlus, which regulates premium rate phone numbers and services in the UK, insists the warning about the alleged scam is actually a hoax.
The organisation said it shut the service down in December 2005 and the company operating it, called Studio Telecom, was fined £10,000.
In a statement, Action Fraud said: “PhonepayPlus, is aware that a chain e-mail about an alleged postal scam is being circulated on the Internet. The email refers to the Royal Mail, Trading Standards and ICSTIS (PhonepayPlus’ former name).
“The service is no longer running and has not been running since December 2005. You do not need to contact PhonepayPlus, or the Royal Mail, about this service as it was stopped almost eight years ago. If you receive a copy of the email warning you about the alleged scam, please do not forward it to others. Instead, please forward this statement from PhonepayPlus. “
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