Don’t fall for parcel delivery scams

Online shopping and package deliveries skyrocket during the holiday season. Naturally, scammers use this opportunity to trick busy shoppers into divulging their personal information. Here’s what you need to know about a new twist on delivery scams.

How the scam works

You receive a text from what appears to be a delivery driver looking for your house. He says something like this: “Hi! My name is Tony. I work for FedEx, and I’m trying to find your house. Please call me.” If the message seems a little strange to you, trust your instincts. It’s a scam!

If you call the number, the scammer will ask you to confirm your personal information, including your name, address, and possibly credit card information. If you don’t remember ordering something that needs to be delivered, the caller may try to convince you that the package is a gift from a friend or relative. According to BBB Scam Tracker reports, callers are often friendly and professional, making the scam harder to spot.

Also watch out for text messages or emails asking you to reschedule a delivery or pay a small delivery charge. These messages often appear legitimate – containing official logos and using professional language. But if you click, you can download malware onto your computer that gives crooks access to personal information and passwords.

In both cases, the package does not exist. If you give out your personal information, it will be in the hands of scammers and you risk having your identity stolen.

How to avoid delivery scams

  • Track your deliveries. The scammers hope you’ll just assume they’re talking about a package you ordered recently, without double-checking. It will be much harder for them to cheat you if you know what packages you expect, from which companies and when.
  • Know the delivery company’s policies. Delivery companies will never contact you with unsolicited calls or texts. Depending on how you signed up for notifications, messages are usually posted to a secure online portal. Beware of unsolicited messages, especially if you have never signed up for SMS alerts.
  • Never give sensitive personal information to strangers. If an unsolicited caller asks you for personal information, even if they claim to represent a company you trust, hang up and call the company using the official customer service number. Calling the company yourself is the best way to determine if the claim is legit or a scam.

Source: BBB.org

Read BBB’s article on five ways to avoid delivery scams to learn more ways to protect yourself from delivery scams. Stay alert for shipping scams by visiting the FedEx website, the US Postal Service, and UPS’s online resource center. If you spot a delivery scam, report it.


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