Get Gephardt: Received a package delivery text? Scammers are luring Utahns with fake tracking alerts

Nov 16, 2022, 10:05 PM | Updated: 11:05 pm

HEBER CITY, Utah — Utahns are getting targeted by scammers sending out fake delivery notices. The alerts, made to look as though they have been sent by UPS, Fedex, Amazon, the postal service, and others, are designed to trick recipients into giving personal information or to install malware on their devices.

Construction has the road torn up in front of Margaret Schloss’ Heber City home. So, she was not surprised when she got a text message from the U.S. Postal Service saying a package had been deemed undeliverable.

“With all the construction out front they might have tried to deliver it and been unable to deliver it,” said Schloss.

She had been expecting a package and thought this notice might be legitimate. But she had been a scam victim before. So, before clicking on the link in the text, she wanted to be sure and asked me to investigate.

“I’m wary,” she said.

Schloss was wise to be wary, according to the U.S. Postal Inspectors. She was target in a scam called, “Smishing,” where the con men get you to click a link and enter your personal information. The best advice from the postal inspectors is spelled out in all bold on their website:

“Don’t click the link!”

Scammers are unscrupulous but they’re not stupid. Expect to see a lot of delivery scams in the coming weeks warned Zulfikar Ramzan, chief scientist at cybersecurity firm, Aura.

“I think it’s a certainty that this year will be scams more than ever.”

He said scammers know full well people are shopping online right now for the holidays.

“Unfortunately, it’s times like these where scammers take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities when people are trying to get something done and not expecting to be scammed during the holidays,” he said.

As for Schloss, she did not click on the link. She hopes sharing her story will help others avoid being duped.

“At Christmastime, I don’t want to see other people hurt,” she said.

If you are concerned that your shipment has been delayed, reach out to the retailer or shipper directly. Do not click on links in emails.

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Get Gephardt: Received a package delivery text? Scammers are luring Utahns with fake tracking alerts