Package on the way? Scammers target deliveries to get personal information

DENVER (KDVR) — Scammers from overseas are targeting your phones with texts, calls and emails making victims think they have to click a link to receive a package they have ordered.

“They say something like ‘you have a package on the way, click on this link’ and that’s where they get you,” said Roseann Freitas, PR & communications manager with the Better Business Bureau.

Freitas warns if you receive a message like that and you click the link, scammers could be using malware to download onto your phone. From there, she stated they would have access to your private information.

“We aren’t dealing with the bad grammar or spelling. These aren’t Nigerian princes, those days are gone. We are dealing with sophisticated crime rings,” Freitas said.

When sending these types of texts, emails or calls, Freitas said local scammers are looking to see if you are home.

“Someone is trying to see who is home to take a package because then they know that house isn’t being occupied.”  

She said the biggest thing victims do is believe the scammers are talking specifically about something they ordered online when in reality these scammers are spreading a wide net. She said they send these messages to thousands like a shot in the dark and hope someone bites.

“They start to scare you a bit and you think you won’t get your package, that’s a red flag,” Freitas said.

In 2021, the BBB scam track risk report showed that Amazon was the top impersonated company. She said more often than not people learn about scams through the news.

“When it comes to these things, there is no such thing as an immediate action,” Freitas said.

Tips from the BBB on how to spot the scam:

  • Be skeptical of email and unsolicited calls.
  • Some departments at Amazon will call customers, but Amazon will never ask you to disclose or verify sensitive personal information or offer you a refund you do not expect. Amazon will never ask you to make a payment outside of their website and never ask you for remote access to your device.
  • FedEx does not request, via unsolicited mail, e-mail or SMS messages, payment or personal information in return for goods in transit or in FedEx custody. If you have received a fraudulent e-mail or SMS message that claims to be from FedEx, you can report it by forwarding it to [email protected]
  • DHL – “Attempts have been made to defraud internet shoppers by the unauthorized use of the DHL name and brand via email communications and graphics which appear, on the surface, to have originated from DHL. In most cases, the communications concern the sale of consumer goods over the internet where payment may be requested before the goods are delivered. Please be advised that DHL does not request payment in this manner. DHL only collects money due for official DHL-related shipping expenses.”

Large companies, Freitas said, work to try and get ahead of the scammers but it helps if victims report being targeted right away.

Who to contact if you believe you are a target of a scam:

  • Report it to Amazon. Any customer that receives a suspicious email or call from a person impersonating an Amazon employee should report them to Amazon customer service. Amazon investigates these complaints and will takes action if warranted.
  • DHL – send suspicious activity to Anti-Abuse Mailbox at [email protected]
  • FedEx – [email protected]
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – to file a complaint online or call 877-FTC-Help.
  • Better Business Bureau – BBB Scam Tracker to report a scam online.
  • Your credit card issuer – if you provided your credit card number, even if the transaction was not completed.