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Beware if you receive a card or voicemail message from "PDS" (Parcel Delivery Service) saying you've got to phone an expensive number!
A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on a phone number which turns out to be an expensive premium rate number. It's worth knowing that reputable couriers do not expect you to phone premium rate expensive 0906 numbers, and if you receive a card to that effect, or a voicemail, you should not be duped into phoning the number! If you have any aged relatives, make sure they are aware of this scam, so they don't get caught out by it!
Incidentally, there is some folklore surrounding this scam, so be careful what you forward on if someone sends you a message saying you should forward it to everyone you know! Beware of chain letters, but also beware of sending on information which is incorrect. In the case of the message about the Parcel Delivery Service PDS scam, the info encourages you to phone a London number which is supposed to be the Royal Mail Fraud Office. It isn't. In fact the people at that phone number would prefer to receive fewer calls about the PDS! Also, although the expensive calls (usually to an 0906 number) cost £1.50 per minute, are lengthy, and achieve nothing, they do not go abroad and also they do not cost £15 to start the call. That's a myth spread by rumour. So, don't believe everything you read!
ICSTIS www.icstis.org.uk , are real however, and you can phone them on UK 0800 500 212 and complain about bad advertising of 090 numbers. ICSTIS are overworked and understaffed, but will be keen as mustard to punish a company for misleading advertising of a premium rate number. The culprits can always be traced, as their phone number is there to be seen!
Some of the fake parcel delivery notes claim you have won a digital camera. Well, sorry to tell you this, but you haven't. It's no good phoning the expensive premium rate number, because there is no camera and no parcel to collect. If you want a digital camera, save your phone calls and go to these camera shops instead!
Other useful info about things to do with the phone can be seen here. Also see bank hoax scams, and the Rogues Gallery of suspicious e-mails, and other security and crime fighting related issues.
Well Done to John Exell for sending in the message warning us of the PDS Parcel Delivery Service scam, and Well Done to Keith of Fog Bandit www.bandituk.co.uk the smoke screen anti-intruder company (what can't be seen, can't be stolen) for sending the warning alert message in the first place! I wonder if there is going to be a Smoke Bandit affiliate program?!
Other references include:
www.bbc.co.uk/wales/x-ray/allarticles/stories/5p20_pds.shtml - gone
Scams involving couriers also include the virus e-mail claiming to be from UPS
Incidentally, the postman and independent commercial couriers, if they can't deliver a real parcel to you, WILL drop a card in to tell you, but this is entirely distinct from the scam, as the phone number is a standard rate, local, or free number.