Katherine Hart, of the Trading Standards, said: “People are much more nervous about the cost of living and it is likely that a call out of the blue alleging suspicious activity and additional charges are likely to worry most people.
“These criminals rely on our fears and anxiety and are always quick to exploit it. We need to be suspicious and be very wary about passing on details.”
Ms Hart said often fraudsters already had some personal details, perhaps from a previous scam such as a fake delivery text, which helped convince the victim their call was legitimate.
The rise in online shopping has fuelled a surge in delivery and parcel scams, which first spread when lockdowns forced people to shop from home. But the trend has continued as the cost of living crisis intensifies, with Trading Standards reporting a “huge rise” in the fraud. A million scam texts are now sent every week.
Reports of “smishing”, where criminals use text…