A new scam has arrived along with your packages this holiday season. But like many others, this one starts with a text.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the fake package delivery scam begins when you receive a message from a so-called “delivery person” who claims to be having trouble finding your house and asks you to call them. Once you're on the phone, they may ask for details like your full name, address or credit card information.
The call goes something like this: "Hi! My name is Tony. I work for FedEx, and I'm trying to find your house. Please call me," according to the BBB.
The caller will likely be friendly and professional, so the scam could be hard to spot. But, the BBB warns, "If the message seems a little strange to you, trust your gut. It's a scam."
Fraudsters are hoping to use the busy season to catch consumers off guard, and it appears to be working. According to a recent TransUnion report, the average suspected digital fraud attempts in the United States from Black Friday to Cyber Monday rose 12% as compared to the rest of 2023, and18% from the prior year.
The package delivery scam is part of a growing list of imposter scams, which includes schemes especially prevalent during the holidays such as fraudulent callers posing as utility company workers. In addition, Visa recently issued a scam alert in time for the holidays, warning of an uptick in online shopping schemes.
There are, however, a number of other ways to protect yourself during the holiday season and all year round. These include remembering that banks will never ask for your personal information, being diligent about the spelling and authenticity of the websites you’re shopping on as well as discerning about the identity of any person who calls or texts you.
Keeping up with your online orders as well as where you’re placing those orders, is an effective way to ward off scammers. You can also track and report scams using BBB’s scam tracker, or keeping up to date with its guidelines for avoiding scams.
Jamie Feldman is a journalist, essayist and content creator. After building a byline as a lifestyle editor for HuffPost, her articles and editorials have since appeared in Cosmopolitan, Betches, Nylon, Bustle, Parade, and Well+Good. Her journey out of credit card debt, which she chronicles on TikTok, has amassed a loyal social media following. Her story has been featured in Fortune, Business Insider and on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, and NPR. She is currently producing a podcast on the same topic and living in Brooklyn, New York.
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