BBB warns of package delivery scams ahead of holiday season

BBB warns of package delivery scams ahead of holiday season

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - With many gifts on the way to your home from Cyber Monday, be careful as scammers are ready to take advantage.

The Better Business Bureau reports one text message scam is widespread right now.

A simple text may seem innocent, notifying you of a package on the way. But if you click the link, you may be in for a world of trouble.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday now behind us, delivery companies are preparing to send thousands of packages to homes across the U.S. A text from a random number, a message saying your package is on the way, it seems like no big deal. While you may think it’s the holiday gift you ordered, the BBB warns that little URL may be dangerous.

“We are definitely seeing a spike in text messages that are very generic, basically just giving you a link to click on to learn more about your package delivery,” said Michelle Mason from the BBB.

The vague message is a sign that something is wrong. Mason said real tracking messages are much different.

“But in cases like that, the message you get is going to be much more specific, but that’s why were saying one of the red flags is it’s generic,” she said.

Luckily, our smart phones can detect dangerous websites.

“We want to make sure people do not click on the link,” Mason said.

If you do clink on the link provided a red screen pops up with a deceptive website warning, the message reads, “This website may try to trick you into doing something dangerous.”

“Just clicking on the link alone could possibly cause you to download malware or even spyware on your phone or app because they’re taking you to a site you’re not familiar with,” Mason said.

Officials suggest reaching out to your phone provider to see how to clean your phone if you do click on the link. Mason said if you are not careful, scammers can get into your phone and then use your number to trick friends and family members into sharing personal information.

The BBB warns scams like these can be trying to steal your personal or financial information, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards.

FedEx reports millions of fraudulent e-mails and text messages are deployed daily.

“FedEx does not send unsolicited text messages or emails to customers requesting money or package or personal information. Unfortunately, scammers often invoke the names of trusted brands when attempting to take advantage of the public, and FedEx is one of many companies whose brand has been abused in this way. Any suspicious text messages or emails should be deleted without being opened, and reported to abuse@fedex.com. For more tips on detecting online scams, visit the FedEx Customer Protection Center at http://www.fedex.com/us/security/prevent-fraud.”

If you are expecting a package, Mason suggests looking up your tracking number provided when you placed the order.

“Don’t let them proactively send something to you. You be the one to take those steps,” she said.

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