Are you waiting on a package delivery right now? So are thousands of other Americans — and thanks to delivery services like Amazon and package trackers, we have a pretty good idea of when our goods will arrive.
That’s the reason scammers are changing tactics towards delivery notifications. By making you think a text is related to something you ordered, scammers can easily trick you into opening phishing messages and other nasty surprises. Tap or click here to see how to tell if your delivery notifications are real.
Fake delivery notification scams are spreading rapidly across the country — which is why groups like the Better Business Bureau are issuing warnings to consumers to pay close attention to text messages. If you get this particular line of text, make sure to ignore it. There’s no package, no delivery and no chance you’ll escape with your money untouched if you fall for it.
New delivery scam is targeting online shoppers
According to a new bulletin posted by the Better Business Bureau, a bizarre string of text messages has been circulating around the U.S. claiming to be package delivery notifications.
If you look at the message, it doesn’t seem too different from an ordinary delivery notification you might get from UPS or your apartment complex (if it has a mailroom).
The message urges recipients to “confirm their delivery” by following a link. But if you click the link you end up on a strange, generic-looking landing page that tells you to enter your credit or debit card number to “confirm your identity.” It also says the package is “free of charge,” despite the fact that deliveries (if you’re getting one) tend to be paid for upfront.
What’s going on here exactly?
Well, if you do enter the information, consider that card as good as gone. The website appears to connect back to a phishing server, and your card number will likely end up on a Dark Web marketplace before too long.
What can I do to protect myself from this scam?
Fortunately for you, this scam can only really hurt you if you make the mistake of falling for it. In many cases, this would be complicated by realistic-looking graphics, clever language and convincing landing pages. But in the case of this particular scam, you don’t even need to try hard to notice something wrong.
Here’s what the text message looks like. Try and read it out loud to see if it sounds natural:
[your name], we came across a parcel from [a recent month] pending for you. Kindly claim ownership and confirm for delivery here, [link]
Does that sound like the kind of message you’d get from UPS? Of course it doesn’t! But that doesn’t mean that scammers won’t try and pull a fast one on you.
If you see the following text appear in a message on your phone, delete the message and do not engage. If it helps, try to remember that shipping companies rarely require you to “confirm” your package unless a signature is required.
At the same time, verbiage like “kindly claim ownership” isn’t something we typically say here in the U.S. If anything, this is more proof that fraud is afoot.
As for how such a message could have access to your name, that’s easy: It was stolen in a data breach. First and last names connected to a working phone number are highly valuable to scammers, which is why they’re some of the most common items leaked in data breaches.
And please, no matter what, never give your card number if a text message, link or website asks you for it out of the blue. Nine times out of ten (and maybe even more than that) it’s a scam waiting to steal your money.