Fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the thousands of people who have turned to online shopping for Christmas with a new scam.

The national fraud agency Action Fraud warned people to beware of fake messages from one of Britain’s biggest parcel delivery firms DPD.

The agency said: “Action Fraud has seen a surge in reports relating to fake emails and texts purporting to be from DPD.

“The messages claim that DPD was ‘unable to deliver your parcel today’ and provide instructions on how the recipient can arrange another delivery.

“The links in the emails and texts lead to fake websites that are designed to steal money as well as personal and financial information.

“Victims of this scam have reported losing over £242,000 since June.”

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The advice is

“If you’re unsure whether the email or text is genuine, then don’t use the link.

“Instead, visit the DPD website by entering the official web address directly into your browser’s address bar or search for it and follow the search results.

“Remember, your bank will never ask you to transfer money to another account or contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN or full password.

“If you have received an email which you’re unsure about, you can report it by forwarding it to

“You can report suspicious text messages by forwarding them to 7726.”