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Pending Package Cell Phone Scam

pending package cell phone scam

By Tammye McDuff

Americans caught on rather quickly to those mysterious seed packages being sent from overseas, but now scammers are trying their hand at a ‘pending package scam’.

Authorities are now warning communities about yet another phishing scam where cybercriminals send a text message with a malicious link to an intended victims phone to try and obtain personal data.

The latest SMS attempt includes the recipient’s first name. The scammers likely believe that by adding this personal information; the victim would be more likely to open the link. One such email reads:

Hello mate, your FEDEX package with tracking code GB-6412-GHB83 is waiting for you to set delivery preferences. Click.info/www123xyz

The text message may contain language that states the targeted victim has a package pending or waiting from them in an attempt to get them to click on the link and share personal information.

This isn’t the first time that spammers have used SMS to send out fake messages, but more people appear to be receiving this specific package delivery scam message.

HowToGeek.com decided to test the link and see what happened. After clicking the link, it goes to a very obvious Amazon looking fake listing and you are asked to take a customer satisfaction survey. As a thank you for answering some question, you are given the chance to claim an expensive product for free as a reward. Then you are asked for your address and credit card number.

The real scam is in the fine print. By agreeing to pay a small shipping fee, you have been signed up for a 14 day trial to the company that sells the product. After the trial period, you are billed a ridiculous fee every month and sent a new supply of whatever item you claimed as a reward.

These cybercriminals can steal your identity, empty your back account or install malware on your phone. The best course of action is to ignore the message. Do not click on any suspicious links and don’t provide personally identifying information.

By taking a step back and analyzing the text message, it is easy to spot a scam. First, the phone number appears to be from someone’s personal number. Second, the sender never identifies themselves or the courier. Third, the link’s URL looks suspicious and unofficial. Finally, the text messages grammar does not read as if it is from a legitimate source.