Scams linked to parcel deliveries come top in 2023 in the East of England

  • Scams linked to Deliveries & Parcels, Banking and Investment Schemes (including Cryptocurrency) come top for 2023 in the East of England.
  • 40 million people targeted by scammers so far this year, with over 450,000 people targeted in our region.

Parcel delivery scams are by far the most common scam faced by the public so far this year. That’s according to new research from Citizens Advice released as part of its scams awareness campaign.

A shocking 60% of people in the East of England targeted by scammers had been on the receiving end of a malicious parcel delivery scam, with scammers attempting to get hold of personal information or bank details.

The charity’s research reveals that 40 million people have been targeted by scams already in 2023, with over 450,000 targeted in the East of England.

Several of the most frequently encountered forms of scams involve quite sophisticated impersonation of official organisations.

Top three scams of 2023 to date

  1. Delivery & parcel scams – 60%
    texts or emails claiming to be from a delivery company to reschedule or pay additional delivery fees in an attempt to get people’s personal information or bank details. Or false tracking information is given for items bought online, which never arrive.
  2. Banking scams – 29%
    correspondence claiming to be from one of the banks attempting to get people’s bank details
  3. Investment scams – 29%
    get-rich-quick schemes and cryptocurrency scams

“I can’t tell you how stressful it’s been. It’s caused so much heartache”

Victoria*, 26 years old, from Lancashire was left thousands of pounds out of pocket after being scammed when buying a car via an online marketplace.

She said: “It all seemed very legit, the contact seemed very, very real. I haven’t seen any negative reviews about the company so I just thought it was fine.”

Victoria researched the company and car and transferred £3325. However, the car never arrived, and she then saw it re-advertised at different locations, up to twenty times in a matter of days.

She said: “When I confronted the man who sold it to me he was very, very cold. Now they’ve changed all their numbers and email addresses.

“I can’t tell you how stressful it’s been. It’s caused so much heartache and I haven’t even been able to face telling my mum and my dad about what’s happened. The scammers shouldn’t be able to get away with it.”

Citizens Advice Consumer Service received over 9,000 reports of scams between January to April 2023. The charity is urging more people to report scams to help protect others from falling victim.

Nicky Willshere, CEO of Citizens Advice Ipswich, said:

“Anyone can be targeted by a scam and sadly anyone can fall for one.

“As scammers get ever more sophisticated it’s more important than ever that we all work together to raise awareness, report scams and share our experiences to help protect ourselves from their tricks.”

There are steps you can take to better protect yourself and your loved ones. Jane Parsons, Citizens Advice consumer expert, has top tips to spot scams:

  • It seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect.
  • You’ve been pressured to transfer money quickly.
  • You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – like by an iTunes voucher or a transfer service.
  • You’ve been asked to give away personal information such as passwords, PINs or  verification codes.
  • You spot signs that the organisation or person you are dealing with isn’t genuine – perhaps the email address doesn’t seem quite right. Always step back and double check if you have any doubts at all.

If you’ve been scammed:

  • Talk to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment
  • Report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 204
  • You can also contact the Citizens Advice consumer service for help with what to do next.