CONSUMER ALERT: Beware of Scam Package-Tracking Text Messages Commonly Seen During the Holidays
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians of scam robotexts involving package tracking that are commonly seen during the holidays. These scam robotexts are a form of smishing—defined by the United States Postal Inspection Service as a deceptive text message intended to lure recipients into providing personal or financial information. These texts are often disguised as messages from the United States Postal Service, or common shipping companies. Attorney General Moody wants Floridians to be cautious of these smishing texts to protect personal and financial information.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “With Christmas just days away, tracking last-minute deliveries is becoming increasingly important. Many Floridians are anxiously awaiting the delivery of multiple online purchases, and scammers may capitalize on the glut of deliveries in an effort to steal personal or financial information. Beware of text messages instructing recipients to click a link to track a package—it may be linked to malware or a scam designed to steal personal information.”
Below is an example of a scam robotext phishing for personal information from a potential victim.
- The phone number, which has been redacted, may appear to be from a personal 10-digit phone number;
- There is no mention of any store the item may be shipping from;
- All companies sending physical goods will require a shipping address when purchasing an item online—they will not ask for an updated shipment address; and
- If the link is unrecognized, it is safe to assume that it is an attempted scam—so never click on the link!
Attorney General Moody is providing the following tips to help Floridians avoid package-tracking scams:
- Do not click on links from unknown senders;
- Block the number of an unwanted robotext;
- Never respond to a scam robotext—or risk potentially being added to a list to receive even more robotexts;
- Analyze suspicious texts to check for grammatical errors, suspicious links or 10-digit phone numbers that look like personal numbers; and
- Know that the USPS will never send a text message with package-tracking updates unless a user signs up for the updates online.
The USPS also provides a helpful video on how to spot and avoid text message scams. To watch the video, click here.
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The Florida Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division issues Consumer Alerts to inform Floridians of emerging scams, new methods used to commit fraud, increased reports of common scams, or any other deceptive practice. Consumer Alerts are designed to notify Floridians about scams and available refunds in an effort to prevent financial losses or other harm caused by deceptive practices. Anyone encountering a scam should report the incident to the Florida Attorney General's Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com. To view recent Consumer Alerts and for other information about avoiding scams, visit MyFloridaLegal.com/ConsumerAlert.