There’s no denying that there has been a significant rise in sophisticated scamming and phishing activity throughout the past year of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Fresh warnings of fraudulent acts seem to be being issued to the public every month.
Scammers have been carrying out fraudulent activity under the guise of just about everything from Amazon Prime and hot tub sales companies, to social media platforms such as Facebook, and even the NHS in recent months, but it’s the Royal Mail – the nation’s postal service company – in particular, that appears to be the most-frequent subject of scams targeting vulnerable people.
But it’s this latest scam that’s proving to be one of the most scarily-accurate yet.
Several people have come forward on social media to say that they’ve fallen for the scam, with one woman saying in a now-viral warning tweet that the scammers took her for “every penny [she] had”.
Victims are said to have received a text message tasking them with paying an “unpaid shipping fee”, alongside a link where they can go to pay the supposed amount that they owe, and with the text message only asking for as little as £2.99, the scammers appear to then be able to access that person’s card details to spend the money elsewhere.
Using the hashtag #RoyalMailScam, dozens more have also claimed they nearly fell for the scam due to it looking so legitimate.
But it’s Emmeline Hartley’s now-viral tweet that’s made people really start to take note.
Ms Hartley took to Twitter to share her experience of a scam which saw the culprits trying to spend £300, as well as attempting to set up direct debits for different retail stores.
Sharing a detailed account of what she was subject to, Emmeline said: “I mentioned yesterday that I’d been scammed out of every penny I had [so I] thought I’d post what happened in case it helps anyone avoid being in the same position.
“Please save the lectures, I don’t think it’s possible for me to feel any stupider”.
In the accompanying statement, Emmeline explains that she put her account details into the link provided on the text purported to be from Royal Mail, only to later receive a call from her bank to report suspicious activity to her.
She was then advised to move her money out of her three accounts into a new one, but to make matters worse, the person on the other end of the phone was also another highly-experienced scammer who then completely cleared out her accounts leaving her with nothing.
While Emmeline has fortunately since made progress with her legitimate bank and filed a fraud claim – which is currently being investigated – her bank has stated that they couldn’t guarantee that she’d get all of her money reimbursed.
“I’m usually very good at not falling for scams, but this one caught be off-guard at a pretty vulnerable time in my life,” Emmeline said.
“This s**t can happen to anyone – Please [share] and keep each other safe”.
The tweet has since gone on to amass over 13.5K retweets and 23.K likes, with many members of the public spreading word of the message to protect people and others sharing their own similar experiences.
People from across the country have still reported receiving the text in the following days.
Always remember to keep vigilant.
You can report suspicious messages to Action Fraud here, or call – 0300 123 2040.
Featured Image Credit – Royal Mail
Peter Kay moved to tears by standing ovation in Manchester as he returns to stand-up
Peter Kay was moved to tears by the outpouring of love from the audience in the AO Arena before he’d even started his set.
The Bolton comedian, 49, made his long-awaited return to the stand-up scene this weekend, with two sold-out shows in Manchester.
Another wrote: “What an absolute privilege to be there for Peter Kay’s return to the big stage. He got a standing ovation for his entrance and was reduced to tears, never seen anything like it. No spoilers, just a superb night.”
Someone else said: “I was expecting a huge standing ovation for Peter Kay’s return, but that was just mega. I felt so privileged to be there tonight. I’ve waited to see him live for so long. If you recorded anything, please don’t be a d*ck sharing it and ruining it for everyone else.”
One person tweeted: “What a beautiful moment yesterday. Peter Kay in tears after such a rapturous reception.”
Featured image: TikTok, @hannah5290_
Stone Roses bassist Mani raises over £100k for The Christie and local NHS charities
Stone Roses bassist Mani and his wife Imelda have raised over £100,000 for two cancer charities close to their hearts.
After Imelda Mounfield – who is the wife of Stone Roses bassist Gary ‘Mani’ – was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer back in November 2020, the couple not only set out to raise awareness of the devastating disease, but also raise as much money as possible for local cancer charities through an online auction featuring some impressive prizes.
The auction was launched at a fundraising event held at Kimpton Clocktower Ballroom on Friday 18 November, and saw the couples’ friends from the world of music, sport, and entertainment donate an incredible array of exclusive items.
Some auction highlights included Noel Gallagher’s framed and signed set of six platinum discs for the album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, which went for an impressive £8,000, while guitars donated by Damon Albarn, Arctic Monkeys, Primal Scream, Foo Fighters, Peter Hook, and The Who were also all up for sale.
The highest bid went to John Squire’s Jackson Pollock-inspired painted and signed Hofner guitar 3/3 for a whopping £16,800.
Liam Gallagher’s 2022 NME award for ‘Music Moment of the Year’ sold for £4,100, and David Beckham’s signed boots he wore for the last match of his career on 18 May 2013 were sold for £6,800.
All together, over £80,000 was raised from the auction, as well as £24,000 raised on the night of the fundraising event itself – which means that just over £100,000 has now been donated to The Christie Charity andStockport NHS Charity.
Imelda explained that funds were donated to these two charities as they “supported me through my journey.
“Cancer affects not just the person who has it, but everyone around them,” she explained, “I hope that by investing in some more research, we can help alleviate some of the devastation caused to families by cancer.”
Both charities say they are “really touched” and “hugely grateful” for the contributions.
“We’re really touched that Imelda’s experiences as a patient have spurred her and Mani into action for our charity,” said Louise Stimson – Head of Fundraising at The Christie Charity.
While Karen James OBE – Chief Executive for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust – added: “We’re hugely grateful to Imelda and Mani’s efforts in organising the fundraising event and auction [and] we’re proud of the care Imelda and many others with cancer have received at Stepping Hill Hospital.
“This fundraiser for our charity is a really touching display of her thanks, which will help us go on to support more patients in the future.”
Sadly, Imelda’s cancer has spread to her liver and a small nodule in her lung, so she underwent emergency life-saving bowel surgery as it perforated, and after months of treatments, she had the right side of her liver removed.
Imelda is now currently waiting for the next stage of treatment.