Martin Lewis has said there is an epidemic of scams in the UK, but fraudsters are getting off "scot-free".

The MoneySavingExpert founder labelled the latest Royal Mail scam “twisted genius”.

That scam involves fraudsters telling Royal Mail customers they must pay a delivery fee in order to receive their parcel.

It reads: “Royal Mail: Your Package Has A £2.99 Shipping Fee, To Pay This Now Please Visit: action will be taken if you do not pay this fee.”

Similar text message scams read: “Your Royal Mail parcel is waiting for delivery. Please confirm the settlement of £2.99 (GDP) on the following link.”

The Argus: The latest Royal Mail scam targets people sending out parcels for deliveryThe latest Royal Mail scam targets people sending out parcels for delivery

Martin Lewis told The Guardian: “The impact of fraud on victims is appalling.

"As well as potentially being life-destroying financially, it has a huge impact on self-esteem and mental health.”

He added: “The delivery one, that says pay a £2 or £3 charge, was twisted genius.

“So many people are expecting deliveries now. They swear a bit and just pay their delivery, and don’t realise they’ve given away their bank details to a scammer.”

A bill for online safety will be presented to parliament in the Queen’s speech this week.

It will not include any measures to force tech giants, such as Facebook and Google, to vet all adverts they publish on their platforms – a legal requirement for TV companies and publishers.

“I just don’t get why,” Lewis added.

“Why are they not doing it? There is an epidemic of scams in the UK. It’s been exploding for the past three or four years, and it’s been exacerbated due to the pandemic.”

Royal Mail has listed different scams circulating, including the outstanding postage fee one.

The Argus: Martin Lewis said more needs to be done to stop fraudsters in the UK. Picture: ITVMartin Lewis said more needs to be done to stop fraudsters in the UK. Picture: ITV

It said that if customers needed to pay a surcharge for an unpaid item, they would never request payment via text or email, and would only do so by leaving a grey Fee To Pay card through the letterbox.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has previously said the rise in online shopping means more people are likely to be waiting for parcels and deliveries, making them more vulnerable to this kind of scam.

Lead officer Katherine Hart said: “This delivery scam is yet another example of fraudsters attempting to make money out of the unsuspecting public.

"Due to the lockdowns, many millions of people rely on product deliveries, so scammers have focused their efforts on this theme.

“Royal Mail will only ever contact you via text or email if a customs fee is due, not for domestic parcel delivery.

"If you have any suspicions, contact Royal Mail to verify before you click any links or share details.

“Also, the public must also be aware that these types of scams may come in many forms, and scammers do not only use Royal Mail branding.

“Indeed, in January, I commented on a similar scam that used DPD branding.

“These types of scams come in many forms, not just via text but also in emails and through the phone.”

Advice from Royal Mail:

How to spot a fake email

Check at the top. Fraudsters often use subjects or greetings that are impersonal and general, like “Attention Royal Mail Customer”.

They may use a forged email address in the “from” field like "”.

They may even use the Royal Mail logo.

The sender, subject and content may change slightly but often they:

  • state there’s a parcel waiting to be collected
  • ask for payment before an item can be released for delivery
  • prompts you to open a link or document
  • asks you to send a text message or call a phone premium rate phone number

Protect your information

Never send sensitive, personal information, security details or credit card numbers by email.

Never click on a link in an email if you are unsure about it, especially if it asks for personal financial information, this might attempt to install malware on to your computer

Make sure you have a spam filter on your email account.

Reporting potential scams

People are encouraged to report scams to Action Fraud, or for email scams contact the National Cyber Security Centre by emailing

If you receive a suspicious email or discover a Royal Mail branded website which you think is fraudulent, let them know by completing an online form.

If you have been the victim of a payment scam, you can get a crime reference number by reporting it to your local police station.

  • Have you been the victim of a scam? Let us know in the comments below.