Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says her office is receiving reports of scammers posing as delivery companies seeking to steal personal information through phishing texts.
The scam isn’t exactly new -- few scams are -- but it’s getting new life since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic led to a surge in online shopping. With the holidays approaching, Nessel says consumers everywhere should remain vigilant.
“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.”
What you should not do is click on the link in one of these phony text messages. Doing so could allow 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.
What to look for
The recent text messages use similar language and look like this: Nessel provided this example of what some of the fake text messages look like:
“FedEx: shipment 71206 update: on the way. Click here: c7fsvinfo/oToaiibv6A. (using different numbers and links in the message)”
Others are even more dangerous, addressing the potential victim by name, making it appear to be a legitimate message. Here’s an example”
“Jessica, urgent notice about your USPS package 3K9355 from 04/10/2020. Proceed to m4svk.info/UENAnGm4zh”
If your name is Jessica and you happen to be expecting a USPS delivery you might instinctively click on the link. Nessel says that would be a big mistake.
Instead, she suggests calling the delivery company directly if you think it might be real using a telephone number that you look up yourself. Once you verify that the message is fake, Nessel says you should delete it and block the number.