Picture this: you receive a seemingly innocent text from Amazon, UPS, FedEx, or some other delivery company informing you of a failed package delivery attempt. But here’s the catch – you haven’t even made an online purchase recently. You might wonder if there’s been a mistake, but little do you know that it’s not actually the company messaging you but cunning scammers trying to exploit your momentary confusion. In this article, we’ll discuss fake delivery text scams, how they work, and how you can spot them to outsmart the scammers.

How the fake delivery text scam works

Out of the blue, you receive a text message from an unknown number saying that a delivery attempt has failed. Typically, the message will look like it’s coming from a top reputable online retailer or delivery company. Scammers will try to impersonate the most popular companies in certain areas in hopes that at some point recently, you’ve done business with one of them and you’re expecting communication from them. 

The message might explain why the delivery attempt failed, such as no payment information or unverified account status. They may request that you provide payment information again, request that you log in to prove that you are the account holder, or some other bait to get you to click on the provided link.

Typically, this link will take you to a phishing website that is designed to look exactly like the real website of the actual company. As mentioned previously, the web page will ask for personal information such as banking information, credit card information, your social security number, or simply take you to a login screen. From there, any information you provide to this unscrupulous website will go directly to the scammers. With these details provided, scammers can take over your account and steal your private personal and financial information. 

How to spot a fake delivery text scam

Spotting a fake delivery text in the wild can be challenging if you have text updates configured for actual online deliveries; that’s the whole purpose, to confuse you into thinking it’s a real text message about your upcoming delivery. While you don’t need to rush and turn off text notifications, it’s important to inspect each one that comes in thoroughly. Here are a few tips to help spot a fake delivery text scam:

  1. Wrong Number: Review prior text notifications to confirm this number is accurate. If you’re receiving texts from the short code 348923 but receive a message about the delivery from a different number, consider this an immediate red flag.
  2. Poor Grammar/Word Choice: Scammers often have poor grammar and choose words that may not be exactly right for the context. If the context of the message looks unprofessional, it’s likely from a scammer. Legitimate companies will take the time to prioritize grammar and spelling. 
  3. Didn’t Order Anything: If you didn’t order anything recently but received a text like this, consider it an immediate red flag. Scammers are hoping you’ll think that you’ve simply forgotten about the order and get distracted wondering what it could be while they steal your information. 

If you’ve received a text message that you think might be a fake delivery text scam, the most important thing to remember is to never click on the link. If you’re concerned about a recent online order you’ve placed after receiving a text message like this, log onto the company’s website directly. Do not click the link provided in the text; it will not go to the legitimate website. When in doubt, always contact the company directly by your own means, not through a provided link. If a fake text comes through, simply delete it and block the number if necessary.

Scammers rely on your naivety in their scheme; prove them wrong and empower yourself with knowledge and tips for spotting them in the wild. By carefully scrutinizing unsolicited text messages and sharing our knowledge with others, we can come one step closer to a safer online environment for everyone.

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