MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A Memphis woman wants to warn others about a delivery scam that is going around.
The Better Business Bureau says thieves acting like they work with UPS, the postal service, or FedEx to get your hard-earned money is pretty common.
They targeted Mary Anne May the day after Mother’s Day.
“So I thought, ‘Mother’s Day! Somebody could’ve sent me a surprise,'” May said.
May had been out of town and had just returned from her trip.
“I had just pulled into the drive, I needed to pick up the dog and I got a text,” she said.
A text from what looks to be UPS, saying a driver tried to deliver a package on Mother’s Day but no one was home to sign for it. The message even gave her an address should she wish to go to a warehouse to pick up the parcel.
When May showed up, she didn’t see a UPS facility. No one was around. But there was also an option to have the package re-delivered.
“So I clicked on that link which asked for my name, address, phone number, date of birth, that was the clue but I didn’t pick up on it yet, and then it asked for a little payment which I would have to give my credit card,” she said.
That’s when May knew things were fishy. She called UPS, who told her the tracking number was invalid. Realizing it was a scam, she reported it to UPS fraud.
The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South recommends if you get a text like this to go to the delivery carrier’s website directly.
A request for money in return for the delivery of a package should be a red flag.
“I’m glad that I noticed before any damage was done,” May said.
Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau:
If you receive suspicious email, text, or phone messages, go to the delivery carrier’s website directly or use the retailer’s tracking tools to verify the sender’s identity and avoid these scams.
In addition, the U.S. Postal Service has posted an alert about phony delivery texts. The alert cites “unsolicited mobile text messages indicating that a USPS delivery is awaiting your action” and includes a non-postal service web link to click.
National delivery companies are also providing information on their websites to help consumers avoid falling for package delivery scams. Both FedEx and UPS say they do not seek payment or personal information through unsolicited texts and email.
Some common warning signs of mail, text, or online scams:
- Unexpected requests for money in return for delivery of a package, often with a sense of urgency.
- Requests for personal and/or financial information.
- Links to misspelled or slightly altered website addresses, such as “fedx.com” or “fed-ex.com.”
- Spelling and grammatical errors or excessive use of capitalization and exclamation points.
Remember that imposter scams often illegally spoof phone numbers used in calls and texts to try to trick you into thinking that the number is from a legitimate company or even a government agency.
How to Avoid Package Delivery Scams
- Be wary of unsolicited communications. Package delivery companies will never contact customers unsolicited via telephone call or text. Instead, depending on the carrier and if the customer signed up for notifications, an email may be sent within a secure online account.
- Track all packages. Keep track of online purchases and expected deliveries. Request tracking numbers in anticipation of when they’ll arrive. This makes it difficult for scammers to fool with the claim of a fake package delivery.
- Never give personal information to strangers. Even when the caller is friendly, always use caution when asked for personal information. Hang up, look up the official customer service number, and directly contact the company to confirm their request. Whenever possible, use the customer service contact information or chat function within the account at the company.
- Never click on links in unsolicited emails. Links in emails can download malware onto your device. Don’t click links in emails from people you don’t know or from companies you haven’t done business with or have asked to be contacted by. Be wary of official-looking emails; popular brands can easily be spoofed.