‘Any unexpected message should be a red flag’: Spotting package delivery text, email scams

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s a scam that happens year-round, but you might see it a bit more frequently during the holidays.

According to the BBB, delivery scams look like a text message or email about delivering a package to your address.

These messages often include a link that you’re urged to “tap” or “click on” because there’s some kind of issue with your package or account and more information is needed.

Whether you’re expecting a package or think it might be a gift from someone else, it can be tempting to click on the link — don’t do it.

Laura Clinton, Chief of the Consumer Protection Division with the Washington Attorney General’s Office says there are red flags with these types of messages that are easy to spot.

“Any unexpected message should be a red flag,” said Clinton. “Misspellings, links, any requests for money, any requests for personal information. These are not typically requests that are made over text message by a legitimate carrier.”

Clinton says just like robocall scams, the person behind it is often casting a wide net and trying to lure someone in.

But they are powerless and can’t do anything unless you fall for the scam.

If you are expecting a package, visit the mail carrier website or phone app and try typing in your tracking number.

That’s the best way to vet if a message you’re getting is legitimate or not.

“If someone’s really trying to deliver a package to you they are going to try again,” said Clinton. “You’re going to hear from the company that’s sending it to you. There are other ways to verify.”

Think, don’t click the link, delete the message and you should be good to go.

You also have the option of reporting the message by filing a claim with the WA Attorney General’s Office.

Clinton says it could lead to an investigation into the scam.

The United States Postal Inspection Service says ‘smishing’ is a similar type of scam.

Just remember, these types of deceptive messages are often trying to get your personal information from you — treat that information as valuable as cash.

If you or someone you know falls victim to a package delivery scam, with financial information landing in the hands of the scammer, contact your bank or credit card company and monitor your account for any fraudulent charges.

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