Research has revealed the 20 companies most-likely to be impersonated by scammers.

Analysts at Dojo have found the 20 brands most used in smishing SMS scams by fraudsters.

The list includes the likes of Royal Mail, Tesco, Amazon, Sky and Boots.

With more people relying on online technologies, and with Christmas around the corner, there’s been a unique opportunity for scammers to impersonate brands that connect with customers using text messages.

Five out of the top 20 are online banking providers.

Companies used by scammers

These are the 20 companies most likely to be impersonated by scammers

  1. Royal Mail
  2. Hermes
  3. PayPal
  4. Halifax
  5. DPD
  6. DHL
  7. Santander
  8. UPS
  9. Barclays
  10. DVLA
  11. Amazon
  12. Parcelforce
  13. Apple Pay
  14. Virgin Media
  15. Uber
  16. Tesco
  18. Boots
  19. Sky
  20. Dominos

How to spot text scams

Although customers are becoming wiser to smishing texts, scammers are becoming more advanced and their fraudulent emails aren’t always so easy to spot.

Naveed Islam, chief information security officer at Dojo said: “Criminals are getting more creative with their deceit.

“Due to lockdown and the resulting closure of the high street, people’s buying habits have shifted to online. It is not surprising that we’ve seen an increase in criminals tapping into this changing behaviours with fake parcel delivery scams. For the many people these frauds are incredibly convincing and traumatic.

“This rise is being monitored and managed by the UK police’s dedicated team, Action Fraud.

“But in the short-term, there are some ways consumers can protect themselves and minimise their risk of digital fraud. We’ve outlined a few tips for people receiving fake ‘smishing’ texts below”

Were you expecting a message?

Always check your latest correspondence with the company and get in touch with them if you're not expecting any messages.

Whether you’re unsure, or you’re totally convinced that you’ve received a scam text pretending to be a company, reach out to that company to inform them and see further information.

Use the official websites of delivery companies to track your parcel.

Have you signed up to receive a message?

When you sign up to a company they will always ask for your permission to receive SMS messages from them. So before clicking on any link in a suspected fraud text message, always check this first. 

Do you recognise the number?

Scammers can spoof phone numbers pretending to be from your local area code, or even a number that you know, so always google the number if the text you receive is suspicious in any way.

Are there spelling mistakes?

Although some fraudulent texts are highly sophisticated, many of them can be poorly worded and there are some tell-tale signs they’re not legitimate.

Don’t enter sensitive data into SMS links

If you do suspect you’ve been sent a smishing text, do not click on the link at all. Scammers often include malicious links and once opened allow them to access anything on your phone.

If you accidentally click on the link in your text, do not provide your private information (user ID, password, payment card details) to that website.