Top Royal Mail scams to avoid in 2022

Royal Mail scams often arrive in the form of fake text messages and emails. Here are some of the most common attempts impersonating Royal Mail you could see this year.

A hand placing a letter inside a Royal Mail post box
(Image credit: Scott Barbour / Getty images)

Royal Mail scams often start by claiming you’ve missed a delivery to spark a sense of urgency and intrigue, and scammers are relying on both to get you to take action quickly. 

Combining these tactics with familiar, trusted brands makes delivery scams even more dangerous, and Royal Mail has found itself a prime target for impersonation in 2022.

Operating in exactly the same way as other delivery scams, such as the Evri text scam or Post Office scams, the goal of this type of fraud is to capture your card details and other sensitive personal information by directing you to a fake website via links in SMS text messages. 

These websites are often near-identical clones of the brands’ official pages, except it’s the scammers that control them.

Here is a round up of some of the most common Royal Mail scam attempts spotted in 2022. This is how you can spot the fake texts, the cloned websites and ensure you aren’t passing your details on to fraudsters.

Royal Mail scams this year

Fake Royal Mail text message

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As is the case with most delivery scams, the most common type of Royal Mail scam seen in 2022 starts with a text message. The fake text usually tells the potential victim that they have a ‘redelivery fee’ to pay, which is often a low and therefore relatively innocuous amount, such as £1.45.

The text message will then provide a link through to a website that the scammers have set up. These sites are extremely convincing clones of the real Royal Mail site that have been established specifically to dupe people into parting with their card details.

The fake sites will take you through a convincing process to pay the apparent fee, but the whole thing is simply a means to capture your card details.

How do I know if a Royal Mail text is genuine?

Royal Mail states that the only instance in which an SMS would be sent to a customer is in cases where the sender has specifically requested it when using trackable products.

Royal Mail says it will NOT request payment for underpaid items via text message. It states that in cases where customers do need to pay a surcharge for underpaid items, it will leave a grey Fee to Pay card.

There is one exception in which a payment may be requested by SMS: when a customs fee is due. However, you can still separate the fakes from genuine contact easily, as in those situations it would also leave a grey Fee to Pay card.

Put simply, any text purporting to be from Royal Mail asking you to pay a ‘redelivery charge’ is a fake.

Royal Mail phishing email scams

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Fake emails, known as ‘phishing’, work in similar ways to scam text messages. However, the emails have the added advantage that they can dress themselves up in official branding, making them appear even more convincing.

In August 2022, Action Fraud said that it had received 1,058 reports in one week about fake Royal Mail emails.

Like the text messages, the emails also attempt to send the recipient through to a fake website that’s been designed to look like the official Royal Mail site. Often following the same tactics of additional fees to pay, these sites aim to capture your card details and other sensitive information, giving the scammers access to your bank account and enabling them to use your card to make purchases.

How do I know if a Royal Mail email is genuine?

Once again, if you genuinely have a fee to pay, Royal Mail will also leave you a grey Fee to Pay card.

If you do not have a grey Fee to Pay card in your possession, treat the email with suspicion. 

As with all fake emails, you should check the sender’s email and the way in which the text has been written. Are there spelling and grammatical mistakes? Have you been addressed by your full name or only part of your email address?

If you’re ever unsure of any communication you’ve received from Royal Mail, contact it via its official channels and ask it to verify the information.

Royal Mail has also compiled a helpful list of various scam examples using its branding on its website.

How to report Royal Mail scams

All fake text messages can be forward to 7726, which spells SPAM on a traditional phone keyboard.

If you’re unable to forward the text message, take a screenshot and email it to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on report@phishing.gov.uk (opens in new tab) 

This NCSC email should also be used to report fake emails. The NCSC can then work to remove the fake websites that these texts and emails are linking to.

Helpfully, Royal Mail also has its own reporting service specifically for making it aware of scams in its name.

For emails, report them to: reportascam@royalmail.com (opens in new tab)

For texts, take a screenshot and email them to the same address.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “The security of our customers is a high priority for Royal Mail. On our website (opens in new tab), we offer advice and information on what customers should do if they receive a suspicious email, text message, or telephone call that claims to be from Royal Mail, or if they discover a Royal Mail branded website which they think is fraudulent.

“This advice includes reminding customers to never click on a link in an email if they are unsure about it, especially if it asks for personal financial information like your bank details. We also advise customers never to send sensitive, personal information, security details or credit card numbers by email or text.”

George is a freelance consumer journalist with a keen interest in scams and housing. He worked for the Consumers' Association for seven years where he was the editor of Which? Conversation - his work on exposing new scams saw him often quoted in the national press. 


George has been at the forefront of the cladding and building safety crisis, campaigning for the rights of leaseholders and giving a voice to those caught up in the scandal - as a result he was nominated for Property Journalist of the Year in 2021 at the Property Press Awards.