Online purchases and package deliveries skyrocket during the holiday season. Naturally, scammers use this opportunity to trick busy shoppers into giving out their personal information. Here’s what you should know about a new twist on delivery scams.
How The Scam Works
You receive a text message from what appears to be a delivery driver looking for your home. It 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 gut. It’s a scam!
If you call the number, the scammer will ask you to confirm your personal details, including your name, address, and possibly even your credit card information. If you don’t remember ordering anything that needs to be delivered, the caller may try to convince you the package is a gift from a friend or relative. According to BBB Scam Tracker reports, the callers are often friendly and professional, making the scam harder to spot.
Also, look out for text or email messages that ask you to reschedule a delivery or pay a small delivery fee. These messages often look legitimate – containing official logos and using professional language. But if you click, you may download malware onto your computer that gives con artists access to personal information and passwords.
In either case, the package doesn’t exist. If you give up your personal information, it will be in the hands of con artists, and you’ll be at risk of identity theft.
How To Avoid Delivery Scams
- Keep track of your deliveries. Scammers hope you’ll just assume they are talking about a package you ordered recently, without double-checking. It will be much harder for them to fool you if you know what packages you are expecting, from what companies, and when.
- Know delivery company policies. Delivery companies will never contact you with unsolicited calls or texts. Depending on how you signed up for notifications, messages usually are posted within a secure online portal. Be leery of unsolicited messages, especially if you never signed up for text 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 inquiry is legitimate or a scam.
Read BBB’s article on five ways to avoid delivery scams for more ways to protect yourself from delivery scams. Stay alert to shipping fraud by visiting FedEx’s website, U.S Postal Service and UPS’s online resource center. If you spot a delivery scam, report it.