Last-minute Christmas shoppers have been given with an urgent scam warning.

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Last-minute Christmas shoppers have been given with an urgent scam warning.

Following an increase in scam SMS messages, a warning has been issued to last-minute Christmas buyers.

Smishing is a type of fraud, and over half of all reported occurrences in the last three months have come from bogus parcel delivery companies, according to UK Finance.

This is up threefold from the same time last year, and the executive director of crime at the trade group has encouraged consumers to be cautious during the hectic holiday shopping season.

“Scrooge-like thieves are utilizing the holiday season to attempt to con people out of their money,” Katy Worobec said. It’s critical to be on the watch for scams over the holiday season, whether you’re buying online or waiting for deliveries.

“Don’t let scammers steal your Christmas; always follow the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign’s recommendations and take a moment to consider before giving out your personal information or money.”

Fake SMS frequently state that the courier was unable to make a delivery and request that the recipient pay a fee or submit further information in order to reschedule the delivery.

Proofpoint got the data, and the cybersecurity firm’s vice president of Cloudmark Operations advised consumers on what to do if they receive a fraudulent communication.

“Consumers should be very skeptical of mobile communications that come from unexpected sources,” Jacinta Tobin said.

“It’s critical not to click on links in text messages, no matter how convincing they appear to be. If you wish to contact the alleged vendor who sent you the link, go to their website and type in the web address/URL manually.

“For offer codes, type them into the site directly as well.” It’s also critical that you don’t respond to unusual or unexpected SMS messages. This will almost always indicate to future scammers that you are a real person.” Anyone who has received a bogus SMS can report it to their cell phone operator by sending the hoax text to 7726 for free.

The National Cyber Security Centre is using the reports to take down fake website URLs and prevent more losses due to frauds.

Anyone who is being victimized by fraud should follow the Take Five to Stop Fraud guidelines, according to Action Fraud. “The summary has come to an end.”

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