Psa: Watch Out For This New Text Message Package Delivery Scam
Justin Duino is the Reviews Director at How-To Geek . He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on CBS News and BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry. Read more…
Weve been trained to expect and look out for spam emails. But now, scammers are sending realistic-looking text messages posing as shipping and package delivery companies such as FedEx.
Update, 12/2/21: Since we originally published this piece, a new package delivery text message scam has been making the rounds. The main difference between the latest SMS phishing attempt and the one seen above is the addition of the recipients first name. The scammer likely believes that adding personal information might make the message appear more official, increasing the odds that the link is opened.
By taking a step back and analyzing the text message, its easy to spot that this is a scam. First, the phone number appears to be from someones personal number. Second, the sender never identifies themselves or the courier. Third, the links URL looks suspicious and unofficial. And, finally, the text messages grammar doesnt read as if its from a legitimate source.
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At first glance, which one is legit and which one isn’t?
How To Stop Scam Calls
One common question asked is How can I stop these calls? Below I have listed several helpful methods to stop these Amazon Scam Calls from happening.
- Block the number on your cell phone. Add the number to contacts, and them put it on the reject list on your phone. Some phones have a limit of numbers on the reject list.
- Download an app that will block the calls such as RoboKiller or Truecaller Currently these both have a free version.
- Contact and list the numbers with the Do Not Call Registry. Scammers who continue to call the numbers are subject to a fine. Unfortunately, the robo-dialers constantly change their numbers.
- Report the Phone calls to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint and follow the onscreen directions.
- For help with How to make your Amazon Account secure go to Protect Your System.
If you have been a victim of a scam, tell us your story in the comments below. You will help others avoid getting scammed.
Thanks for reading, and stop back soon!
How To Identify Fraudulent Emails And Messages
Scammers try to copy email and text messages from legitimate companies to trick you into giving them your personal information and passwords. These signs can help you identify phishing emails:
- The sender’s email address or phone number doesn’t match the name of the company that it claims to be from.
- The email address or phone number they used to contact you is different from the one that you gave that company.
- A link in a message looks right, but the URL doesn’t match the company’s website.2
- The message looks significantly different from other messages that you’ve received from the company.
- The message requests personal information, such as a credit card number or account password.
- The message is unsolicited and contains an attachment.
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Are Scam Messages Illegal
Smishing is prohibited by federal law. The CAN-SPAM Act, created in 2003 to eliminate deceptive messages on electronic devices, requires companies to get permission from consumers before sending emails or texts. If you opt out of messages or havent given permission to receive them, read below to find out how to report and prevent them in the future.
Urgent Messages About Your Credit Card Or Bank Account
Many hackers will send text messages posing as your bank or credit card company to get you to click on a link or provide them with sensitive information. They may tell you that your account has been locked and offer a link to rectify it or make up a fraudulent purchase and ask you to verify your identity to remove it.
While banks and credit card companies do occasionally send text to their members, its usually for authentication codes, or you might get an alert that theres been a suspicious purchase on your account. However, these legitimate messages will almost never include links.
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How To Stop Scam Texts
If youve ever received shady, unsolicited text messages that promise $3 million prizes, free cruises, or gift cards, youve experienced smishing . These scam textswhich try to steal your money, identity, or bothcan often turn threatening. Threats of jail time, IRS bills, and lawsuits have all been employed to harass recipients and try to convince them to turn over financial information or money. More than $86 million was lost to the scam messages last year. Heres what you need to know to keep yourself safe.
How To Prevent Identity Theft And More
If you want to find out the newest scams every week, subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter. Youll receive weekly emails from us and we promise not to spam. Also, educate yourself with some other PayPal fraud-related articles listed under this paragraph. This way, you can protect yourself in many other niches. Finally, use the comments section below to expose other PayPal scammers.
Here are some must-read articles for the end:
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Amazon Prime Scam The Shocking Details
The global giant Amazon is now a household name. Its popularity has managed to create a high level of trust with us all. Unfortunately, the scammers are using this trust to target victims. Their job is to steal your money and personal information.
The police have already received hundreds of complaints across the UK about the Amazon Prime scam. Unfortunately, these complaints are the only the ones that have been reported. Scammers have already attacked thousands of victims, and the figure is rising.
How To Silence Amazons Push Notifications On Your Phone Or Tablet
If you use the Amazon app on your iPhone or Android phone, you probably also get push notifications whenever something is shipped or delivered. To stop these, open the Amazon app on your phone, open the menu, and tap Settings. Tap the Notifications option in the list.
Disable the types of notifications you dont want to receive. For example, if you disable Shipment Notifications, you wont get a notification when Amazon ships you a package. If you disable all the options here, you wont get any notifications.
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Amazon Says You Should Report Any Questionable Messages You Receive From The Company
Amazon asks that you report any concerning messages claiming to be sent from the company directly to the Federal Trade Commission . “We take fraud, scam, phishing and spoofing attempts seriously. If you receive correspondence you think may not be from Amazon, please report it immediately,” the company says.
And it appears they do take these claims seriously: Amazon just filed a federal lawsuit on May 11 against individuals who operated an illegal advertising scheme that sent fake text messages impersonating Amazon to various users’ phones, Business Wire reports.
Paste It In A New Text And Send To Spam
Eradicate them, huh? Sounds like someone in another country is using Google translate
Regardless of your mobile provider AT& T, Verizon, T-Mobile the top ones all use this 7726 number for reporting spam texts.
iPhone users: You can also press and hold on the message, click more beneath the message, then click the forward arrow at the bottom right corner of your screen to forward message right to to SPAM.
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How To Spot Smishing
Smishing attacks, like phishing attacks, are looking for the easiest targets, so theyre fairly easy to spot if youre wary. Bad grammar and misspelled words are good indicators youre dealing with a smishing attack. Additionally, links included in spam messages will often be slightly altered from the site the text says youre going to, for example, ama.zon.com vs. amazon.com.
If youre not sure about a message, you can also do an internet search for the number and the message. If its smishing, you probably arent the only one whos gotten the exact same text.
While you cant stop people from smishing, you can at least ensure that you dont fall victim to it. If a text message contains a link and it doesnt come from someone you recognize or you arent sure its really them, dont click on that link.
If you think a text message has come from a company you trust, you should always verify it before clicking on any links. Look up the companys customer service line on Google and give them a call. If they did contact you, theyll have a record of it. Just like email addresses, phone numbers can be spoofed, so its always better to verify. There are also tools you can use to prevent smishing in the first place.
How To Protect Yourself:
- Be suspicious of random text messages or calls that want you to call a number or click on a link.
- To check if a call or message is genuine, find the legitimate contact details for the company having done your own research, and contact them yourself DO NOT USE DETAILS GIVEN VIA SMS.
- Be careful with your personal and banking information do not give account details out to people over the phone or download any applications to your phone which inadvertently grants them access.
- If you do get caught out in scams like these, immediately contact your bank or financial institution to try and block the payment.
- If you have provided your personal information contact ID Care 1800 595 160
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Beware: Do Not Click On This Text Message From Amazon If You Receive It
I was on a video chat a few days ago with someone who works at Facebook, and the conversation turned at one point to the various messaging alternatives to the social networking giants standalone Messenger app. He held up his iPhone and showed me his screen as he scrolled through a pretty long list of scammy text messages, many of them from Amazon purporting to announce things like a winning raffle award. Ive already made my thoughts clear on this in previous posts that whatever you want to say about the social network, a comparison of Messenger to something like iMessage is not even close when it comes to which one handles junk texts and scam texts better.
About those unwanted messages, wed like to zero in on one kind of them the , which have become such a problem that the Better Business Bureau has been inundated with hundreds of complaints from people about them. And , where a matter is so urgent that you seek help from a court of law even before you know the identity of the perpetrator.
So what are these scammy text messages that you should avoid and absolutely refrain from clicking on? If, for example, you receive a text message like the one in the tweet below that claims youve won something, be advised: You have won nothing. Because this is not real.
Follow these tips from the bureau to keep from being swindled by these kinds of scam text messages:
How To Protect Yourself Against Smishing Scams
The most important thing you can do is never click on links in suspicious texts or call the phone number in the message.
But, if you do, never give out personal details under any circumstances.
No legitimate company is going to ask you to reveal personal or security information over the phone. Under no circumstances tell a caller your PIN, password or any other piece of information that could compromise your account.
Another safety tip is to know how certain companies will address you. Legitimate companies will normally address you by your full name as a way of helping you spot fraudulent messages.
Scammers probably wont know your full name, so will use something generic such as Sir, Madam or valued customer.
Its also a good idea to keep anti-virus software and operating systems up-to-date. These will help protect you if you do end up on a fake website thats trying to harvest your information.
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How To Recognize Scam Text Messages
If you get a suspicious text message, here are some questions to ask:
- Does it ask you to give any personal information?
- Does it claim that you have a fake invoice for a transaction you believe you didnt authorize?
- Does it claim that you have a package delivery when you havent ordered anything?
See the website of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to learn about more ways that scammers target unsuspecting people via text. In the meantime, heres a rule of thumb you should always remember:
If you get a suspicious text but think it might be from a legitimate source, dont reply to the text. Instead, contact the company using a phone number or website that youve confirmed is authentic. Never use the contact information in the text message.
If you have reason to believe that the entity texting you is up to no good, not only should you not reply to that text, you also should consider reporting it.
What To Do If You Get A Spam Text
Your best step is to block the text senderdont click any links!and report the spam. Then, delete the text from your phone.
Silence is always the best policy. Never respond to spam texts, not even with stop.Many times, spam texts are sent by programs that send them out en masse, explains Burton Kelso, chief tech expert with Integral, a computer and laptop repair service. When you respond to a text message, youre letting the spammer know that your number is legitimate and that encourages the spammer to continue. Then, your verified number could be sold to other text spamming companies, which is why silence is always golden, he says.
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Suspicious Typos And Grammar Mistakes
You get a text from Apple or Amazonthe most abused companies in all phishing scamsbut you know deep down its wrong. Its filled with grammar and spelling errors that a company of Apples and Amazons caliber wouldnt allow.
If you notice spelling mistakes or unnatural language, ignore the text and contact the company via other channels to check whether the text is a potential scam and, if so, report it.
Text Message Scams: How To Recognize Report And Restrict Them
- 5 minute read
Have you ever received an unsolicited text message promising million-dollar cash prizes or a free cruise? Messages like these are scam texts, sent by scammers in an attempt to steal your money or obtain confidential information like bank account numbers or passwords.
While text message scams, also known as smishing, might seem harmless, they can wreak havoc on your personal life and finances consumers lost $86 million to spam texts in 2020. Heres how to protect yourself.How Do Text Message or Smishing Scams Work?Text message and smishing scams occur when scammers send fake texts to lure you into sharing your personal information. Spam texts might prompt you to click on a link that leads to a spoofed or malicious website that appears legitimate, but once you enter your login information, hackers can gain access to your credentials and other personal data.
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Fake Messages From Trusted Brands
Because brands want to paint themselves as helpful, more companies are starting to send out notifications for shipping or when there is strange activity on their customers accounts. Whether it was a login from a new device or a purchase from a different city, businesses want their customers to feel like their data is safe with them. While this is helpful in many ways, it also makes it easier for smishers to use this tactic to blend in.
Q: I Have An Iphone And Get Unwanted Text Solicitations What Can I Do To Block Them
A: Youre not alone. Other readers have written in with concerns about scammy and spammy texts. Some spam texts are obvious solicitation, asking if you want to buy something or sign up for a service. Others are more insidious.
Our readers say theyre bombarded with romance scams, fake updates from Amazon and phony messages from banks. When trying to tell the difference between legitimate texts and spam, Porter says she has an unlikely mantra: Scammers are people too.
Scammers read the news, use online services and put their pants on one leg at a time, she said. They tailor their scams based on current events, for instance, the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and related scams this past year. They also know how to manipulate you by making you feel sad, scared or embarrassed.
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Tools That Can Prevent Smishing Attacks
Many smishers use location data to generate local numbers and make their attacks seem more legitimate. Adding a VPN to your phone can spoof your location and make it seem like youre located in another part of the country. When you get messages related to your spoofed location, you can be confident that theyre fake. Pulse Secure offers a variety of security tools, including VPNs to keep your devices safer.
Spam blocking apps are also great ways to prevent smishing. Your phones operating system might come with one, but you might also need to search through the app store to find one thats a little more robust. Robo Shield is a great option for iPhone users and Truecaller works well for Android users.
As a company, mobile device management software is a great tool to keep your data safe even while your employees are working remotely. MDM platforms offer device security, encrypted messaging platforms, and remote access for security and IT support purposes. Options like Hexnode let you manage devices from a single point of control and lock or wipe a device remotely to keep it secure.
If mobile device management seems like the right call for your company, check out our Product Selection Tool. After answering a short survey, our team will provide a short, unbiased list of products that will meet your businesss needs.
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