Consumer Handbook: Ways to Avoid Delivery Scams
Some consumers have recently been getting text messages stating a major delivery carrier needs them to "update delivery preferences" on a package by clicking on a link. The problem? The text is a scam, and the link results in the theft of personal information.
Delivery scams and theft are particularly prevalent during the holidays when more packages are shipped, but they can happen year-round. Scammers are hoping shoppers are busy or distracted and will act without thinking.
The first scams to look out for are phishing texts or emails that pose as official notices from delivery companies. These either contain a "tracking link," a message that the shipper is having difficulty delivering a package to you, or, most recently, a link to update delivery preferences. Clicking the link either takes you to a form that asks for personally identifying information or to a site that downloads malware onto your computer.
Another delivery scam involves fake "missed delivery" tags. Scammers place a note on your door that claims they are having challenges delivering a package to you. They ask you to call a phone number to reschedule your delivery, but it's really a ruse to get your personal information.
Another issue shoppers face is package theft. Many consumers have had their packages stolen before they arrive home from work. Thieves snatch packages from doorsteps or lobbies of apartment or condo complexes.
Here is how to avoid delivery scams.
• Take precautions to ensure a safe delivery: If you are having a valuable or fragile item delivered to your home, purchase shipping insurance.
• Watch out for texts, calls or emails about a missed delivery. Legitimate delivery services usually leave a "missed delivery" notice on your door. If you receive a missed delivery notice, examine the form carefully to make sure it is authentic and only then follow their instructions.
• Request a signature.
• Don't leave packages sitting on your doorstep.
• Open your delivery upon receipt to check for damage or signs of tampering.