Eye on Scams: Rise in holiday delivery scams

Eye on Scams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Online sales have increased dramatically this year especially because of the pandemic. With millions of packages being delivered this month, con-artists are developing new ways to steal personal and financial information from shoppers.

Most consumers love the convenience of making purchases online and having them shipped straight to their doorstep. It’s no surprise scammers and thieves have taken advantage of this. However, there are ways to protect yourself from their shady tactics, which are prevalent during the holidays when more packages are shipped.
Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana explains, “There’s a lot of different ways to be scammed in regards to your delivery or your online orders and one of the ways that scammers have come up with recently is leaving tags on unsuspecting consumers’ doors letting them know that a package was attempted to be delivered and that they need to contact this phone number so that they can set up the redelivery of the package.”

Basically, this is a trick to get your personal information. The fake “missed delivery” tags are not associated with any delivery company and when you call the phone number on the tag, the scammer is trying to get your financial information to cover the cost of the re-delivery fee. In the end, it’s all a scam.

“We know Amazon is one of the most impersonated companies for scammers because it’s so easy to trust that and believe it, but we also get a lot of reports of shipping companies,” Babin said. “Any way that a package can be shipped… UPS, USPS, FEDEX, DHL, any of those type of delivery organizations are an easy one for scammers to impersonate and either give you a phone call, text message, email searching for that information from you.”

Kierk Sanderlin is the head of engineering for Check Point Software Technologies, the largest cyber security company globally. Amid holiday e-shopping, Check Point Researchers urge holiday shoppers anticipating package deliveries to watch out for delivery scams.

 “Hackers are opportunistic. I think that’s the most important thing so they’re following the buying season, the holiday season just like we are so if you go back to November, late November, we saw an 800% increase in the number of phishing emails related to shopping because people were getting ready to shop,” said Sanderlin.

Key highlights from Check Point Research (CPR) researchers include:

  • 440% global increase in shipping related phishing emails in November, compared to October
  • 427% increase in delivery phishing emails in the U.S. 
  • Amazon is the most imitated brand in the U.S., where 65% of delivery phishing emails are fake Amazon emails

Sanderlin explained, “If you receive a SMS message, if you receive an email with a hyperlink in it, and it’s telling you to click this link to reset your password, or it’s telling you to click this link to check on the status of your package, give those things a healthy dose of skepticism. It’s better to just actually go and open up the application on your mobile device. It’s better to just type in the URL, the name of the website in your browser, and go there directly. Don’t interact in links in emails unless you’re absolutely sure it’s 100% legitimate.”

The Better Business Bureau offers these following tips on how to avoid delivery scams:

  • Purchase shipping insurance if you are having a valuable or fragile item delivered to your home. In addition, always get tracking numbers for your purchases.
  • Watch out for texts, calls, or emails about a missed delivery notice.
  • Keep track of what you’ve ordered.
  • Request a required signature for the package to be delivered.
  • Don’t leave packages sitting on your doorstep. Have your package delivered to a trusted friend or your workplace.

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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