RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A scam involving a fake package delivery is one new way scammers are trying to steal information. The scam uses a text message to alert the person to the phony delivery.
Another version of it involves a missed delivery notice being left on a door handle. In that case, the number left directs the victim to a call center where people try to take information in exchange for a so-called “free product.”
But, if the product really was free, it could have been left on the doorstep as a sample to try.
The other, more direct way criminals are trying to take advantage of people is through a text message.
“I get an email from FedEx saying they want to contact me about a package delivery,” said Gail Mann, of Raleigh. “But, I don’t have any packages coming.”
“They want something from you so they can use it to steal your identity or money,” said Matt Oliver of the NC Consumers Council.
It can go deeper than that. Those messages oftentimes contain an active link. Once opened, a virus can be installed on the device to monitor activity so it can be sent back to criminals.
“As you enter credit card information to another website, months down the road, you’re still sending scammers all this information,’’ Oliver said. “It’s a goldmine.”
Here’s how to fight back:
- Block the phone number
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission
- Text 7726 (SPAM) on your phone keyboard
“That way, the phone companies can do investigating on their end and potentially stop this same number from messaging other people,” Oliver said of reporting the number to 7726. The link can be also be reported as abuse to companies that provide shortened URLs for texting.
“If they determine its spam or a scam, they’ll shut that link down,” Oliver said.
Companies like FedEx, UPS, and DHL don’t text about missed deliveries. They leave a written notice, as will the United States Postal Service.
Those phony package delivery texts and emails are an epidemic right now. Some may get three and four of these text messages a week as scammers try to capitalize on the online shopping and delivery services we all count on.
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