Evri parcel delivery tracking scam: what is the fraud? How to spot the fake texts, emails and report it
UK fraud cases have been on the rise since the cost of living crisis began, with the Evri scam being one of the most widespread examples
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The cost of living crisis has made life incredibly difficult for many people across the UK. Soaring inflation and rising interest rates have damaged spending power and have left many people struggling to make ends meet.
The situation has been made even more challenging by fraudsters. Criminals have sought to exploit the situation with a series of convincing scams - often latching onto major national events to ensnare their victims.
We have seen scammers target cost of living payments from the government, industrial action at the Passport Office and high-profile cultural events to steal our hard-earned money. The situation has become so bad that the government announced a new anti-fraud strategy earlier in 2023.
According to public body Citizens Advice, the most common form of scam out there at present is parcel delivery fraud. The organisation estimates that roughly 40 million people have been targeted by this “quite sophisticated” type of phishing or smishing attack this year.
One company that has seen criminals piggyback on its brand is Evri. Formerly known as Hermes, the business has had its name used so frequently by fraudsters that it has been forced to issue warnings to customers about fake parcel delivery messages.
So what is the Evri text scam - and how can you avoid being caught out by it?
What is the Evri text scam?
There are actually several different scams using Evri’s name that have been doing the rounds, but they all tend to revolve around one theme: the requirement for an additional payment or a surcharge on a delivery.
The scam message, which tends to come in the form of either a text or an email, may say your delivery’s been missed out by the driver or that you need to reschedule it. The message often comes from an apparently random mobile number or email address.
It will include a request for a small fee and contains a link guiding you to a website that has a plausible-looking URL. Here are two examples of the scam that have been seen by NationalWorld:
If you click through the link in the message (something NationalWorld does not recommend you do), you are likely to come across a website that is a convincing replica of Evri’s. When you get there, you may be directed to enter your card details and other personal information which the fraudsters will then use to access your money or identity. If they get hold of the latter of these, they will either sell it on the dark web or may try to use it themselves to access your cash.
How can you spot the Evri scam?
Clearly, if you’re not expecting a delivery - let alone one from Evri - it may be obvious that the message you’ve received is a scam. But if it happens to coincide with a scheduled delivery, it could easily catch you out.
You may also feel rushed into making a decision about the message given that deliveries are very time-sensitive. A tight deadline is a hallmark of most scams given fraudsters don’t want their victims to look too closely at the message they’ve sent.
It means the best thing you can do is to take a minute to think carefully about the message and whether it could be legitimate. According to the Evri’s own guidance you should also look out for poor use of language or grammar, such as rogue capital letters or spelling mistakes.
Evri adds that the lack of a personal greeting can be a sign of a fake message, while hovering over the URL link’s text may reveal a website address that’s completely different to Evri’s. If you use Google Chrome and click on such a link, the browser should warn you that the website behind it is suspicious.
If the scam comes via email, the sender’s address may not bear any resemblance to Evri’s usual domains, which are: @evri.com, @hermes-europe.co.uk or @myhermes.co.uk. The delivery company says it does contact its customers via text from time-to-time, but that it does so in a different way to criminals. It says messages will:
- Not come from a random number (they may come up as being from ‘Evri’)
- Never ask you for a payment
- Never include a parcel tracking link different from https://evri.link/… But it does say that it cannot guarantee this link format will always be genuine. So, if you’re in any doubt, directly visit the tracking section of Evri’s website.
What to do if you get an Evri scam message
Evri asks that anyone who receives a scam message purporting to be from them takes a screenshot of it and forwards it onto this email address: email@example.com. You should also send it on to [email protected] so that the government’s National Cyber Security Centre can investigate it.
If you click through to the clone website and put your bank details in before realising it’s a scam, you should immediately inform your bank. They may be able to stop the payment before it goes through to the criminals. You should also perform an immediate factory reset on your smartphone or laptop in case the link has installed any spyware.