Scammers exploit Brexit taxes and charges for packages

Fake emails and texts sent under branding of couriers request payment for customs clearance before delivery

Scam artists are exploiting a surge in messages from delivery companies seeking Brexit-related taxes and charges. File photograph: Getty Images

Scam artists are exploiting a surge in messages from delivery companies seeking Brexit-related taxes and charges. File photograph: Getty Images

 

Scam artists are exploiting a surge in messages from delivery companies seeking Brexit-related taxes and charges by sending out bogus alerts looking for financial details from unsuspecting consumers.

Gardai have warned that with online shopping and parcel deliveries increasing due to the Covid -19 pandemic the potential risk to people’s personal and payment data has increased.

In a statement the Garda said was aware of a scam operating that sees emails and texts circulated under the branding of various courier companies.

In such messages recipients are asked to pay additional costs for customs clearance prior to delivery of parcels. In some instances these emails texts have been circulated in Irish.

Det Supt Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said anyone who gets messages like this should not provide any payment details and instead take a screenshot of the text or email and delete it. Anyone who believes they have been the victim of fraud is asked to report the matter to their local Garda station.

Det Supt Cryan said scammers were taking advantage of the confusion around Brexit and criminals would be using uncertainty to defraud people.

Anyone who receives unsolicited correspondence and is awaiting a package should first independently verify the status of the package with the relevant postal service or courier.

People are being warned not to click links in unsolicited texts or emails and to never provide payment details or give away personal data like PIN, card numbers or passwords.

People should also not open attachments in unsolicited emails and make sure computerhave the most up-to-date anti-virus software installed. Similarly people are being told to be wary of unsolicited phone calls.

“Be careful, do your research, don’t rush in, ask yourself why me? Why am I getting this great offer, and if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is,” Det Sup Cryan said.