During this holiday season, with packages being delivered more frequently, a delivery service may notify. Unfortunately, in some cases, criminals are trying to mimic those messages.
Consumer advocates are warning shoppers about these unsolicited texts telling you about a delivery and asking you to respond.
"They're sending out fake notifications to get you to click on links, or provide them personal information that they can use to defraud you," said John Breyault, Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud at the National Consumers League.
Breyault says if you're being asked to verify your information and click on a link to get your package, chances are, it's a scheme.
"These con-artists might ask for things like money for insurance for your package, or a fee for expedited delivery. There are really an unlimited amount of reasons they can ask for personal information or even payment," he said.
Tech journalist Justin Duino has extensively covered this specific delivery text scheme.
"Everyone is trained to look for spam emails but text messages are a little more personal," Duino said.
Duino says there are several ways you can spot a bogus delivery text.
"A lot of times, the grammar is not correct. If you read it naturally, there's a misspelling or something not grammatically correct," he said.
Duino says sometimes the text will address you by first name or the link's URL may look suspicious or unofficial.
Breyault adds to be safe, if you're expecting a package, go on the delivery service or retailer's website yourself and look at your order status.
"That will be a lot safer than just clicking on a link, even if it looks like it's coming from a company you know and trust," Breyault said.
If you're tempted to respond to these fake delivery texts or clink on the links, reconsider. Consumer advocates warn the link may contain malware. Also, texting back only opens the door to communication and you may make yourself a target for future solicitations.
You can report these delivery texts schemes to the below consumer agencies:
- The Federal Trade Commission
- The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin
- Fraud.org -- a project of the National Consumers League