The hard part about avoiding dangerous online and mobile scams is that scammers have become much more sophisticated in recent years. Whether it’s a phishing email purporting to be from Apple or a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, consumers need to remain as vigilant as ever when it comes to identifying seemingly legit messages designed to steal an individual’s personal information and cold hard cash.
The latest texting scam comes in the form of a text designed to look like a legitimate FedEx tracking notification. The insidious message includes the recipient’s name along with a clickable tracking code that claims it can help the victim tweak their delivery preferences.
This is what the fraudulent text typically looks like:
— aperraglio_arts 🌴🐈🎰🐈🌴 (@mechafeather) January 16, 2020
In a statement provided to ABC News on the growing scam, FedEx said the following:
We are committed to protecting the security and integrity of our network. While there is no foolproof method to prevent the FedEx name from being used in a scam, we are constantly monitoring for such activity and work cooperatively with law enforcement.
FedEx’s response doesn’t instill us with much confidence, but the truth is that this scam, at first glance, is particularly hard to differentiate from a legit FedEx tracking alert.
With that said, FedEx adds that it never sends unsolicited messages to customers “requesting money or package or personal information.”
The company further notes that individuals should be aware of the following guidelines should they receive a text which appears to be from FedEx:
- Unexpected requests for money in return for delivery of a package or other item, personal and/or financial information, such as your Social Security number, bank account number, or other identification.
- Links to misspelled or slightly altered Web-site addresses. For example, variations on the correct Web-site address fedex.com, such as fedx.com or fed-ex.com.
- Alarming messages and requests for immediate action, such as “Your account will be suspended within 24 hours if you don’t respond” or claims that you’ve won the lottery or a prize.
- Spelling and grammatical errors and excessive use of exclamation points (!).
While you would think that this would go without saying, many similar scams are far more successful than you might otherwise think. For example, the somewhat laughable and easy-to-detect Nigerian prince email scam still exists and still generates upwards of $700,000 a year for scammers.