The most recent complaints report that these texts appear from unfamiliar phone numbers pretending to be a package delivery notice from Amazon, FedEx or other services.
“What we know for certain is that bad actors will stop at nothing to obtain our personal information, and it is important that we all stay on alert,” said Nessel. “If you are expecting a package and you receive a text message from an unrecognizable number, independently verify the origin first. Contact the company you purchased from or the individual who sent you the package. Clicking on the links in these phony texts can provide a gateway for scammers to download malware onto your phone, or to trick you into entering passwords, credit card details, or other personal information that can be used to commit fraud.”
The recent text messages use similar language and look like this:
“FedEx: shipment 71206 update: on the way. Click here: c7fsvinfo/oToaiibv6A. (using different numbers and links in the message)”
Others address the recipient by name, claiming to be an “urgent notice about your USPS package” that’s been waiting for them from a stated date, along with a link – for example:
“Jessica, urgent notice about your USPS package 3K9355 from 04/10/2020. Proceed to m4svk.info/UENAnGm4zh”
Earlier versions of this scam contained a link promising information about a missing package belonging to the consumer, or to “claim delivery” about a pending package delivery.
Regardless of the message, Attorney General Nessel insists that if you get a text message from an unfamiliar phone number about a package delivery, immediately delete the message, block the number, and do not respond or click on any links. If you think the message may be legitimate, call the delivery company directly using a phone number you know you can verify.
The Attorney General’s office has received roughly 30 complaints of unwanted text messages since January, with several of those related to the package shipping scam.
The Federal Trade Commission suggests three ways to report unwanted text messages:
- Report it on the messaging app. Look for the option to report junk or spam.
- If you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint subscriber, copy the message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.
- Report it online to the Federal Trade Commission.