- Package Delivery Scam
An estimated three billion packages were shipped last holiday season. So, it’s not surprising that cybercriminals have created several schemes. It starts by receiving a text or email asking you to click on a link, such as getting an update about the delivery date, tracking the package location, and providing delivery instructions or paying a shipping fee. Since the criminals want you to act quickly, they may create a sense of urgency in their message. While some of these communications are fraudulent, perhaps containing misspellings or other errors—many are carefully crafted, even replicating a shipping company’s logo or email format in some cases. In addition, if you did click on the link may infect your device with malware that enables a cybercriminal to gain control of your passwords.
- Missed Package Scam
Cybercriminals have created a habit that involves leaving a slip on your door claiming to have an order for you that couldn’t be delivered. The note leaves a phone number to call to reschedule the delivery. If you call the number, you’ll be greeted with questions related to you that can later be used to commit fraud. If you receive a missed delivery note, look at it closely for any mistakes or other signs that it could be fake. Check your recent orders to see if a delivery was made. Even if the notice looks real, don’t call the number. Instead, visit the company’s website to find the official customer service number.
- Social Media Scams
During the holidays, you will see promos or contests on social media sites offering gift cards or vouchers in exchange for simply completing a short online survey. Unfortunately, the survey usually isn’t legitimate. It’s only there to capture your personal information to commit identity theft or worst. Or you might be offered a prize for just liking or sharing a post. Doing either could infect your device with malware.
- Gift Card Scams
A common gift card scam involves receiving a phony or “phishing” email or text that appears to be from someone you trust—such as a close friend—and asks you to purchase multiple gift cards for a social-related function. Or it’s a personal request allegedly from a family member who says they need some help with ordering gift cards. If you receive any unusual requests such as that during the holidays, reach out directly to the person by phone to confirm if it’s real or not.
- Brushing Scam
You’ll receive a package you didn’t order from an online marketplace that allows customers to post reviews of their purchases. The item is usually cheap and lightweight. You might think it’s just a gift from someone to pay it forward. In reality, it’s likely from a scammer who sells products on online marketplaces and wants to create fake and positive reviews. But, in order to post a review, it requires that a transaction be verified with a real tracking number that shows a successful delivery. That’s where your order comes into play. That purchase creates a tracking number. So, after the package is delivered, your fake gift giver can write the review. However, the imposter could have created a fake account for you, or hijacked your current account. If you suspect you are a victim report the activity to your marketplace and/or change your password immediately.
We hope you’ll enjoy the holidays without the stress of dealing with fraud. But, if you’re a victim, here’s what to do:
- Report the crime to local law enforcement
- Alert your banks and credit institutions
- File a complaint with the FBI
- Report the scam to the FTC
Even if you simply encounter a scam, the FTC encourages you to report it to help others avoid becoming a victim.
- Package Delivery Scam