Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch is warning residents of scammers looking to steal joy this holiday season.
With the knowledge that an influx of people is expecting packages, scammers will send unsolicited texts and emails urging people to click on a link to locate a missed or delayed delivery.
The AG’s office warns that the links are likely to be dangerous and that any personal information entered on these sites is subject to being stolen.
“Sadly, the holiday season is a prime-time opportunity for scammers. Knowing consumers are eagerly anticipating the arrival of packages before the holiday, bad actors send unsolicited texts and emails urging you to click on a link to locate a missed or delayed delivery,” Fitch said.
“Beware: this is likely a scam and you should not click on these links or provide any personal or financial information. One bad click could lead to malware, fraud, and identity theft. Familiarize yourself with these common tactics to avoid these scams.”
Delivery scams typically begin with a text message or an email about delivering a package to your address. These messages often include a “tracking link” that one is urged to click to update your delivery or payment preferences. Individuals might also get a voicemail message with a call-back number, or a “missed delivery” tag on one’s door with a number to call
How to spot and avoid fraudulent notifications:
- 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.
- Certificate errors or lack of online security protocols for sensitive activities.
Those who receive suspicious text messages are urged to visit the delivery carrier’s website directly or use the retailer’s tracking tools to verify the sender’s identity and avoid these scams.
The U.S. Postal Service has warned against any “unsolicited mobile text messages indicating that a USPS delivery is awaiting your action” and links to a non-postal service website.
In addition, both FedEx and UPS have reminded customers that they do not seek payment or personal information through unsolicited texts and emails.