Common Delivery Scams and How to Avoid Them

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Online shopping has become a popular and convenient way to buy goods and services, especially during the pandemic. However, it also comes with some risks, such as delivery scams. Delivery scams are fraudulent schemes that aim to trick online shoppers into paying extra fees, revealing personal or financial information, or downloading malware. In this article, we will explain how delivery scams work, what are the common signs of a delivery scam, and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.

How Delivery Scams Work

Delivery scams usually start with a text message, an email, or a phone call from someone claiming to be a delivery company or a seller. The message may look or sound legitimate, using the logo, name, or tone of a reputable company. The message may inform you that you have a package waiting for delivery, but you need to do one of the following things:

  • Pay a customs fee, a tax, or a shipping charge before the package can be released.
  • Update your delivery preferences, such as your address, phone number, or preferred time slot.
  • Confirm your identity or account details by clicking on a link or calling back a number.
  • Track your package by clicking on a link or downloading an app.

If you fall for any of these requests, you may end up losing money, compromising your personal or financial information, or infecting your device with malware.

Common Signs of a Delivery Scam

There are some red flags that can help you spot a delivery scam. Here are some of them:

  • You receive a message about a package that you are not expecting or that you have already received.
  • The message asks you to pay an unexpected fee or provide sensitive information.
  • The message contains spelling or grammatical errors, or uses an unprofessional tone.
  • The message urges you to act quickly or threatens you with consequences if you don’t.
  • The message includes a link or an attachment that looks suspicious or unfamiliar.
  • The message comes from an unknown sender or an unusual phone number.

How to Protect Yourself from Delivery Scams

To avoid falling victim to delivery scams, you should follow these tips:

  • Never click on links or open attachments from unknown or unsolicited messages. Instead, go directly to the official website of the delivery company or the seller and use their tracking tools to verify the status of your order.
  • Never pay any fees or provide any information that you are not comfortable with. If you are unsure about a request, contact the delivery company or the seller directly using a verified number or email address.
  • Never download any apps or software from untrusted sources. Only use official apps from reputable companies and make sure they are updated regularly.
  • Always check the sender’s details and the message content for any signs of fraud. If something looks fishy, delete the message and report it to the delivery company, the seller, or the authorities.
  • Always use secure payment methods when shopping online. Avoid paying by wire transfer, gift card, or cash. Instead, use credit cards, debit cards, or online payment services that offer protection and dispute resolution.

Delivery scams are becoming more sophisticated and prevalent as online shopping grows in popularity. However, by being aware of how they work and what signs to look for, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim. Remember to always be cautious and vigilant when receiving messages about your online orders and deliveries.

This article is also available on our linkedin. Cover photo credits ( Photo by Norma Mortenson from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-a-face-mask-paying-a-delivery-man-4393442/ )

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