As Christmas approaches and more people than ever are shopping online, the amount of parcels being delivered in France has rocketed – and with it the scams linked to parcel delivery.
The French postal service La Poste as well as the Customs authority have warned of several types of scam circulating, while readers of The Local have also flagged up fake communications.
Among the most common scams are people receiving SMS text messages or emails claiming to be from la Poste. The message says that you have received a parcel but there is insufficient postage, and invites you to click on a link to pay the postage and receive your parcel.
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The other variation on this is a message claiming to be from the French customs service saying that your parcel has been held up at the border because there are customs taxes to pay, and again invites you to follow a link and make a payment.
A spokesman for the French customs service said: “Customs will never contact a person to ask them to pay fees. We only inform customers when a prohibited or dangerous product has been seized by our services.”
Some people have also reported scams around online shopping.
The person receives an email claiming to be from an online retailer saying that their order of an expensive item has been received, and offering a link for people to click to cancel. The link asks for your bank details, which scammers can then use to access your bank account.
“The current context of lockdown and working from home means that many people are buying online,” said Gabriel de Brosses, head of cybersecurity at La Poste.
“People enter their credit card details on the link provided and that's how they get scammed – this is the last thing you should do.”