Don’t be fooled by delivery scammers targeting busy and distracted online shoppers.
Don’t Fall for These Sneaky Package Delivery Scams
Now that the holidays are upon us, the U.S Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, and other shipping and package delivery companies are busier than ever. You may be busy too, doing most of your holiday shopping online and waiting for lots of packages to arrive. So, getting a notice or a message from a delivery service about a package it’s allegedly having trouble delivering may not raise suspicion immediately. Be careful, though.
Package delivery scammers count on holiday stress and distraction as a way to catch you off-guard so they can steal your identity or download malware to your computer or device, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Click or swipe for the most common delivery scams to watch out for this holiday season.
1. Phishing texts and emails
Scammers can send phishing text or email messages that look like official notices from delivery companies and contain a tracking link that can lead to identity theft or a malfunctioning computer or other device if you click on it.
The bogus email or text notice may say the “shipper” is having difficulty delivering the package or ask you to update your delivery preferences. Once you click the link, you may be directed to a page that asks for sensitive personal information that can be used to steal your identity. Or, clicking the link opens the door to a download of malware to your computer.
The BBB recommends keeping a record of packages ordered and expected delivery dates so that if you receive a fake “official notice” from a scammer, your guard will be up.
2. Unsolicited phone calls
Delivery companies typically leave a missed delivery notice on your door, so if you get a call from someone purporting to represent a delivery company who claims the shipper was unable to deliver a package, beware. The caller could be after your sensitive personal information in order to steal your identity or ask for your credit card number to “reschedule the delivery.”
Even if you didn’t order a package, a phone scammer may try to sway you into providing personal information by claiming the (nonexistent) package is from a friend or relative.
“Even when the caller is friendly, always use caution when asked for personal information,” warns the BBB. “Hang up, look up the official customer service number, and directly contact the company to confirm their request.”
3. Fake “missed delivery” notices
We’ve all come home to missed delivery notices occasionally, so finding one attached to your door might not automatically raise any red flags. However, the notice could be from delivery scammers falsely claiming they’re having trouble delivering a package and asking you to call and reschedule a delivery. If that’s the case, the missed delivery notice is really just a ploy to obtain your personal information for purposes of identity theft.
The BBB recommends keeping track of all expected packages and deliveries with tracking numbers so you can keep an eye on the delivery process and anticipated delivery date. “This makes it difficult for scammers to fool with the claim of a fake package delivery,” says the BBB.
4. Stolen packages
Thieves stealing packages from porches is one more way to get ripped off around package delivery. In face, over the last 12 months, more than 35 million Americans say they were victims of package theft and around 14% of Americans say they’ve been the victim of porch pirates stealing packages, according to a new survey by Finder, a financial services company.
There are a few ways to outsmart “porch pirates,” however. Have packages delivered to your workplace or a friend’s work address or ask a trusted neighbor who is home during the day to take packages due for delivery inside their house. Ask the delivery company if you can pick up your packages from a central location or store them in a locker until you can retrieve them.
This article by Deb Hipp was originally published on Debt.com.
Published by Debt.com, LLC