Approximately 57% of shoppers planning to shop online during the holiday season, according to a recent Statista report. With numbers that high, you can expect scammers to use this opportunity to trick busy shoppers into giving out their personal information. BBB warns consumers to be on the lookout for bogus phone calls, emails and text messages which claim to be from a mail carrier or parcel delivery service.
How the Scam Works
You receive a call, email or text from someone claiming to be your mail carrier or a parcel delivery service saying that they were unable to deliver a package; either one you allegedly ordered or one which a loved one has sent to you. They will then ask you to verify personal information or give them your credit card information to reschedule the delivery, or they will send you a link to verify the information. However, there is no package, and now the scammer has access to your personal and financial information.
In either case, no package exists. Providing your personal information could put it in the hands of con artists, increasing your chances of identity theft.
How to avoid delivery scams
Track your packages. Always keep track of your online purchases and expected deliveries. Request tracking numbers so you will know when each package is due to arrive. When you know what you are expecting, it will be harder for a scammer to fool you with the claim of a fake package delivery.
Never give your personal information to strangers. Even when the communication is friendly or sounds professional, always use caution when asked for personal information. Hang up, look up the official customer service number, and directly contact the company to confirm their request. Whenever possible, use the customer service contact information or chat function within your account at the company.
Never click on links in unsolicited emails or text messages. Links in emails or text messages can download malware onto your computer. Don’t click on links from people you don’t know or from companies who you have not asked to be contacted by. Be wary of official-looking emails and texts; popular brands and their logos can easily be copied.
For more information
Read BBB’s article on five ways to avoid delivery scams for more ways to protect yourself from delivery scams. Stay alert to shipping fraud by visiting FedEx’s website, U.S Postal Service and UPS’s online resource center. If you spot a delivery scam, report it. Visit BBB.org/ScamTracker to report your experience and help others learn the signs of a scam.
For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer or to share your experience with a business, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call BBB at (903) 581-5704 or report it via BBB Scam Tracker.
About BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. BBB Serving Central East Texas was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.