ANOTHER day, another text about a parcel I haven't ordered, with a payment demand for re-delivery. Or an ‘HMRC’ email about a random tax rebate. Or a voicemail message demanding my National Insurance number for a fraud investigation.

Scammers it seems are having a ball right now; preying on folk at home waiting on deliveries of online orders. And when you buy from a shop, you don’t always know which courier is going to deliver, so it’s rich pickings for fraudsters.

We’ve all had the emails from that Nigerian prince who needs just £3,000 from you to help free his father from wrongful imprisonment (and in return he’ll transfer you a slice of his multi-million pound family fortune once it’s out of the vault) and we’ve scoffed at those who fall for such nonsense. Then there are the online dating scams, when people of a certain age are foolish enough to believe they’re being romanced by someone who looks like a catalogue model, and inevitably end up fleeced of their savings.

Our eyes roll and we wonder how anyone can be fooled by such obvious hoaxes. But with so much of our lives now reliant on digital interaction, and many scammers using increasingly sophisticated methods to reach us, the lines between fake and real are blurred, and it’s probably easier than you think to fall for this stuff.

I had a Facebook message recently from someone I’ve known a long time, a trusted family friend who’s a retired teacher, informing me about a new grants scheme to help vulnerable people. Assuming at first he wanted me to write an article about it, I replied asking for more details and he sent an online link. It was only when I realised he was being quite insistent on me clicking this link, so he could ‘talk me through it’, that I decided it was clearly a scam, and I contacted my friend to tell him he’d been hacked. I didn’t click on the link but, despite all the warnings, there are plenty who would have done, in good faith.

Consumer champion Martin Lewis has criticised the Government for not including scams in its Online Safety Bill set out in the Queen’s Speech. Lewis, who has been battling fake online endorsement adverts for years, says the policing of scams is “dangerously underfunded, leaving criminals to get away with fraud with impunity”. The Government, he says, “has failed to protect millions...from one of the most damaging online harms to their financial and mental health.”

Consumer group Which? said the case for including scams in the Bill is “overwhelming”.

Until the Government starts to take them more seriously, scammers will continue to use this free pass to prey on people online, and many lives will be destroyed in the process.

l I AM writing this on my second lockdown birthday, wondering where the time went since I was sitting here this time last year... This week I felt my age catching up with me when I noticed that the Brit Awards were on telly. I didn’t watch it (I did a Big Shop and was in bed by 9.30pm, which is as middle-aged as it gets) but from some of the highlights I’ve seen, it all looked terribly well behaved. It seemed a very glossy affair, stage managed to the last inch, with earnest, dull speeches from the winners.

When did pop get so po-faced? I preferred the Brits when rock stars got drunk and lairy; Robbie challenging Liam to a fight, Chumbawamba giving John Prescott a soaking, Brandon Block laying into Ronnie Wood, and Jarvis Cocker’s finest hour, making mincemeat of Michael Jackson’s ridiculous ego. Those were the days...