Fake delivery texts surge for the holidays, how you can avoid the scam

Nov 14, 2023, 10:47 PM | Updated: Nov 15, 2023, 8:22 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Porch pirates aren’t the only bad guys banking on the holiday season’s huge influx of deliveries. Other thieves are using phony delivery notifications via text or email to steal our money, our identities, or both.

“They know that we’re busy, we’re distracted in the hope that we will just act without thinking,” said Tim Johnston of the Better Business Bureau, who says the messages can seem like they’re coming from any carrier: UPS, FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service – you name it.

The messages typically say your package is being held up because of some issue with your address or postage, or no one was home for delivery. Kindly click on this link to confirm delivery.

“Don’t do that!” warned Johnston.

Thieves are using phony delivery notifications via text or email to steal our money, our identities, or both. (KSL TV)

How it all works

How the fake delivery texts work is they’ll link you to a website where you’re asked to pay a re-delivery fee. Or, to hand over personal info to verify your address. That link might also launch malware programmed to scour your phone, tablet, or computer for sensitive information.

“Stop, take a breath and think about what you’re being asked to do,” said Johnston.

Don’t even reply, he said. Instead, go directly to the carrier’s official website. And keeping track of your online orders during this busy season will make sorting out the fakes a heck of a lot easier.

“If you expected an order from a major retailer, then you would go to that major retailers website and look at your order and see where it’s at in the progress.”

It’s not just texts or emails. Scammers will also actually call people, posing as reps from a carrier, demanding a credit card or personal info to reschedule a delivery.

For fraud prevention tips, click on the links to each carrier’s website.

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Fake delivery texts surge for the holidays, how you can avoid the scam