Put the Holiday Delivery Scam on Ice
While consumers are busy shopping online for the perfect present this holiday season, scammers are preparing to steal private information with every package scheduled for home delivery. But you can stop these thieves in their tracks when you recognize the signs of a holiday delivery scam.
What Is a Holiday Delivery Scam?
Scammers contact consumers claiming that a package is awaiting delivery, claiming services such as FedEx®, UPS®, and USPS® cannot deliver it. These phony messages are relayed via text message, email, and recorded or live telephone calls. The consumer is asked to click a link or provide verbal confirmation of private information, such as credit card or bank account numbers before they can receive shipping details about a fake delivery.
Some fraudsters have resorted to attaching phony delivery notices on front doors to appear more legitimate as consumer awareness grows about this scam.
Holiday Delivery Scam Tactics
Scammers will use the names and logos of trusted companies to convince you to respond to expected and unexpected delivery notifications. Phishing emails and text messages will urge you to either:
- Call a phone number to schedule the redelivery of a package
- Click a delivery tracking link to view the status of a delivery or update shipping instructions
- Visit a look-alike shipping company website to change your password for security reasons
- Respond to the email immediately since there’s a problem delivering the package
These bad actors claim to need your personal information to verify who you are before they can deliver your package or reschedule its delivery. Some will even attempt to charge you a fee to redeliver a parcel that doesn’t exist. Once you “prove” your identity by handing over your Social Security number or financial information, they’ll use it to steal your identity or make fraudulent charges.
How to Protect Yourself from Holiday Delivery Scams
- Avoid clicking on links that appear inside emails, even if they appear to be from well-known delivery companies. Always access the website by entering the URL address into your internet browser.
- Do not click on website addresses or phone numbers sent via text message since this could download malicious software onto your device.
- Keep track of what you’ve ordered and when to expect it. If you receive notice for a delivery that’s not on your list, contact the delivery service using the phone number on the official website. Confirm that they sent you the delivery notification.
If you suspect a delivery scam, report it to the delivery company named in the fraud scheme. Visit their webpage for reporting instructions.
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