The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) received evidence of a text scam involving supermarket delivery messages.
One of the phoney texts states that “your Asda order is out for delivery” and links to a webpage supposedly allowing the recipient “to track your order and view your delivery note.”
Another similar message references an order from Morrisons. Scammers use the links to obtain personal details from the recipient, putting their finances at risk.
These supermarket scam messages come while similar scam campaigns such as a Royal Mail delivery scam, various phoney banking messages, and a National Insurance number scam target the public.
Katherine Hart, a Lead Officer at CTSI, said: “Scammers are sending these texts to phone numbers on the off chance that the recipient has placed an order with the particular supermarket. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a greater reliance on home shopping deliveries making the public more open to falling for this scam than ever before.
“The public should be aware that these campaigns are not limited to the Asda, or Morrisons brand, and they may receive messages quoting the names of other major supermarket chains.
“If you receive suspicious texts like these, please contact the supermarket if you shop with them and verify. Also, forward any scam texts to 7726, which is a free reporting service ran by Ofcom. We must share this vital intelligence with authorities so that they can grasp the full extent of this problem.”
An Asda spokesperson said: “We are aware of a string of scams that are being sent to customers impersonating various different brands, including Asda, through SMS messages. We will never ask for any personal information through text messages, and any SMS communication from us does not come from a mobile number.
“We would like to remind our customers that they should never click on suspicious links, but if anyone is unsure about any communication claiming to be from Asda, please contact our customer services team.”
To report scams, contact Action Fraud, or if in Scotland, contact Police Scotland.
For consumer advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 The public and businesses are encouraged to join Friends Against Scams and Businesses Against Scams, respectively. These initiatives aim to protect and prevent people and businesses from becoming scam victims by empowering them to take a stand against scams.
Published: 27th April 2021
Source: Chartered Trading Standards Institute