Cyber Crime in the Courier Industry

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Martin Smith

Pegasus Couriers MD

Courier fraud and how to stop it. Pegasus Couriers

The courier industry has been through a lot in the last few years. There have been numerous advancements in technology that have changed the way we live and do business. This has led to significant consumer benefits but also new opportunities for fraudsters to exploit.
Despite these challenges, there is no doubt digital platforms have revolutionised the courier industry. This has increased efficiency and significantly improved the safety and reliability of courier services.
However, with these changes come new threats. As more people shop online or use mobile apps for banking transactions, criminals find new methods to exploit. With such advancements, it’s no wonder that the courier industry is experiencing a remarkable change.

Criminals Steal Billions

According to the UK’s National Crime Agency, courier fraud cost the UK economy £1.4 billion in 2022. Others reckon the total online cybercrime bill for the same year is around £4 billion. 

One of the most significant developments is how criminals target their victims. Gone are the days when porch piracy and stealing packages are the only concern.  However, with the rise of mobile apps and online shopping portals, criminals have changed tactics with new innovative ways to target their victims. 

Criminals Adapt

Phishing scams are internationally recognised and are run by faceless syndicates – making it difficult to catch them. 

Here are some of the more common scams in the UK:

Phishing scams and branding theft: 

These emails or text messages look like they’re from a legitimate company, such as your bank or government agency. However, the criminals steal the branding and trick their victims into clicking on a link to provide their personal information, such as their password or bank card details. The fraudsters usually target their branding theft at multi-national couriers and major corporate companies. 

Cash for job scams: 

These ads offer you a job that requires you to pay money upfront. For example, you may be asked to pay for training materials or a uniform. The ads are from criminals trying to scam people out of their money. Do not pay funds; if there is any doubt, research. 

Missed delivery scams: 

These emails or text messages claim that you missed a delivery and ask you to click a link to reschedule it. When you click the link, you’re taken to a fake website asking for your personal information. Don’t click on any links in these messages; never provide personal information to someone you don’t know.

Parcel insurance scams:

These scammers contact online sellers and opt to pay for the item by sending cash in an envelope. The scammers will then ask the seller to pay for an “insurance cost” to the courier company. The phishing site will steal the seller’s debit or credit card information.

Text or Email Scam

 These messages claim that you must make a small payment for your package to be delivered. At one stage, the Royal Mail issued several warnings about this con. These messages can be challenging to tell apart from an authentic text or email. The scam results in the buyer entering their card details into a fraudulent – but authentic-looking – website.


Red Flags to Avoid Courier Fraud:

  • Courier fraud usually starts with an unsolicited telephone call
  • Typically the suspect will pose as a bank official, police officer, a computer or utility engineer.
  • Courier fraudsters will usually request the victim purchase high-value items or provide a bank card for collection from a courier.
  • Fraudsters will discourage victims from telling others
  • Fraudsters will also state that they will arrange for a courier to meet the victim to collect the item they purchased.
Cyber crime couriers

To Prevent Theft, You Can Also Use:

GPS Tracking for Theft Prevention

GPS tracking offers businesses the ability to monitor their assets in real-time. This means you can see where your vehicles and equipment are at any moment. If something moves unexpectedly, you can take action right away. For example, if a company truck deviates from its route, you can investigate immediately. One major advantage of GPS tracking is geofencing. You can set virtual boundaries around specific areas, and the system will alert you if an asset moves outside these zones. This instant notification allows for a quick response, reducing the potential for theft and enabling fast recovery if theft occurs. 

Enhancing Parcel Security with Cameras

Security cameras are a vital tool for keeping parcel drop-off areas safe from theft. Installing these devices significantly enhances monitoring, ensuring that packages stay secure during delivery. They act as a strong deterrent to potential thieves by making it clear that all activities are being recorded. For couriers, security cameras add an extra layer of protection. They provide visual proof of delivery activities, which boosts accountability and helps resolve disputes. Informing delivery services about the camera coverage creates a safer delivery process. This collaboration ensures parcels are watched over from drop-off to pick-up, reducing the risk of theft. Additionally, cameras can spot suspicious behavior quickly, allowing for immediate action if something looks wrong. Reviewing footage can provide evidence in case of an incident, further improving the safety of your parcel area. The presence of security cameras not only prevents theft but also builds a sense of security and trust among couriers and recipients. With these tools, you create a safer, more reliable delivery environment.


Don't Become a Victim: Cybersecurity Training

The UK is not the only one hard hit by emerging cyber criminals. In the USA, online e-commerce fraud is expected to reach more than £38 billion this year, up from last year. Criminals are constantly finding new ways to target unsuspecting victims. It is important for companies and online buyers to stay informed about these threats and to take steps to protect themselves. 

To combat these risks, prioritize cybersecurity training for your staff. Awareness and best practices are essential. Regular training sessions help your team stay updated on the latest cybersecurity threats and defense mechanisms. This proactive approach can significantly reduce the likelihood of successful cyberattacks. For instance, using services like KnowBe4 can enhance your team’s preparedness against phishing attacks.

Contact your bank or credit card company immediately if you’ve been scammed. You should also report the scam to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. I hope you found this article helpful, and we have plenty more interesting courier-related news on our website

Enhancing Courier Security with Technology

Technology is changing how we keep deliveries safe, much like how a lighthouse guides ships. Tools like GPS tracking and security cameras protect against theft and ensure secure deliveries. For example, companies using GPS tracking have seen a 30% drop in lost packages. By using these tools, you’re not just increasing security; you’re also building trust and reliability in the delivery industry.

Using advanced tools helps prevent theft and lost packages, which are common problems in courier services. By integrating these technologies, you can improve your service quality. This, in turn, can lead to higher customer satisfaction.

If you want more information, please read about courier insurance or how we used an off road vehicle to get parcels to our clients in the remote areas of the Scottish Highlands.  

If you want to join our team and become a driver, please apply online and we will call you back to answer all your questions.

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