MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you bought something online may want to think twice before opening any delivery updates sent in a text message.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a Consumer Alert to warn about a new phishing scam targeting people expecting deliveries. The scam uses legitimate-looking text messages about the delivery status of an order. The message appears to be from FedEx and contains a fake tracking code and link to set delivery preferences.
While the majority of recent reports about the delivery scam involve messages imitating FedEx, the names of other companies and online retailers, including Amazon, are also being impersonated.
“These scams are getting more personalized and sophisticated all in an effort to rip you off,” said Moody in a statement.” Always be skeptical when receiving any solicitation and never give personal or financial information to anyone you do not know or is not a member of an established, legitimate business.”
In some instances, these fraudulent messages contain the target’s name. Clicking on the link sends the target to a survey and requests credit card information.
“Anyone that has a phone number could be a target,” said Justin Duino, managing editor of How-To Geek.
Duino says people who click on the link are directed to a fake Amazon customer satisfaction survey. It then offers a free watch or other gifts as a reward. All you have to do is enter your credit card information to pay for shipping. According to Duino, “when you dig into it, it’s asking you to sign up for a trial to the company where they’ll charge you almost $100 a month.”
So what should you do? Never click on any links in unsolicited text messages or emails and never provide personal or financial information in response to a solicitation.
Also, don’t rely on messages to update a delivery status. To check the status of an order, go directly to the shipping company’s website and search the tracking number.
In a tweet from FedEx, the company told customers: “We do not send unsolicited texts or emails requesting money, package, or personal information. Suspicious messages should be deleted without being opened and reported to email@example.com.”
Duino says “If you don’t know the source and if you don’t trust whoever is sending it to you, you shouldn’t click on any links. If you do, I’d immediately exit out of them.” While it can be hard to tell the real messages from the fake ones, Duino’s golden rule is: think before you click.