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Who do scammers target?

A package delivery scam often begins with a text message or email. The messages often indicate that a package or parcel is either on its way or there is some problem with your delivery, along with a link to click to update your delivery or payment preferences. They seem to emulate official correspondence from a legitimate carrier, like UPS, FedEx and the USPS, but the goal is always the same:  to steal your money and identity. If you click the link, you might unwittingly download malware onto your device and/or be asked to supply sensitive personal as well as financial information. Don’t do it. It’s a scam!

Other variations exist, which could include:

  • Someone impersonating a legitimate delivery service, asking you to return the call.
  • In other instances, criminals might go as far as placing fake missed delivery tags on your door, claiming that they’re having trouble delivering your package and requesting that you contact them. 

In any of these situations, if you respond you’ll be communicating with a scammer who will try to manipulate you into sharing your personal and financial information. Don’t do it. If you engage with a scammer, you increase your risk of losing your money or even your identity.

What to look for:

  • A sense of urgency. Scammers might try to pressure you to act immediately, to encourage you to act without thinking. 
  • Requests for your personal information. Package delivery services don’t need you to provide your personal or financial information to make a delivery. If they ask, don’t respond. 
  • If you haven’t ordered anything, any communication regarding a package is more than likely a scam. 
  • You receive a message that encourages you to respond to a link with a slightly different business name than a brand you trust (e.g. fedX.com or fed-ex.com). 

How can you protect yourself?

  • Don’t return phone calls from any unknown entity. Even if you think you know them, don’t do it. Only call official numbers, not numbers that you receive over email or text.    
  • Whichever service you are using, be sure to check their communication policies. UPS and FedEx don’t seek payment or information through unsolicited texts or email. 
  • If a tracking number is provided, visit the official website (e.g. DHL, FedEx, UPS, USPS) and search for it on the company’s website to check its legitimacy. 
  • If you receive a “missed delivery” tag on your door, contact the actual company using their official number. Don’t call the number on the door tag. 

Where can you report it?