I received the message you see above yesterday and – thankfully – my husband stopped me from reacting to it.

He told me about a website where you can check suspicious numbers and if you click on it you will see this is a bogus number that has also masqueraded as the Hermes parcel delivery service.

It’s shocking but not entirely unexpected that criminals should use the pandemic to try and steal your personal information. Please be careful.

This warning brought another from a Bath Newseum regular:

Re your Covid alert. Another one to look out for is anything to do with Amazon Prime. If you get any messages from them, only reply via their website. I got an email saying my Prime account subscription was about to be automatically renewed. I don’t have Prime but it’s easy to accidentally accept the free trial when shopping online. Stupidly I phoned the number and I tell you what, I’d employ any of the people who spoke to me as an actor. The woman who answered agreed I didn’t have an account but thought I was being scammed. She put me through to what purported to be the Amazon crime department, which sounded really busy. I could hear loads of operators talking in the background. This chap said my account had been compromised and put me through to a ‘crime unit’.  The guy there was totally convincing and knew quite a lot about my personal details. I’m not easily tricked so I rang off but they must have thought I sounded gullible and actually phoned me back. When I said I didn’t trust him, he got shirty and offered further proof by linking me to a government website. I think the website was real but he wasn’t.It seemed to have the same phone number as the one he was calling on. Apparently they can make it look like they are phoning from a real number, so don’t fall for that one. Anyone vulnerable would have been convinced and might have parted with all sorts of personal info. I contacted the genuine Amazon helpline via their website and they confirmed I had no Prime subscription. My bank spotted a ‘pending outgoing payment’ in my compromised bank account of £4k to a bitcoin account and I immediately changed all my access codes and cancelled my cards. I registered with the real police cyber crime unit as a victim and they sent me some very useful literature on avoiding scams. To this day I don’t recall how much info the criminals already had on me and how much I might have inadvertently revealed in the few moments when I thought I was talking to Amazon. I have now arranged for Amazon to text me with a one-time code every time I purchase anything.  I hope the background hubbub I could hear was a call centre sound effect, otherwise there’s a whole load of people out there being diddled! Also Amazon send out far too many reminders when one is expecting a delivery, it’s best to be vigilant and not open the messages willy nilly. 

1 Comment

  1. Hi Richard:

    I’m sending this because I can’t get your website to log me in. Here’s
    my reply.

    There’s also one going the rounds about Hermes not being able to deliver
    a parcel and if you pay £1.45 they’ll deliver it. Needless to say, you
    have to enter your bank details to pay. I got it but not only was I not
    expecting a parcel, I have a suspicious nature, so immediately guessed
    it was a scam. We have a road WhatsApp and anything like this gets
    flagged under Scam Alert – as this one did.


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