People are getting fake package delivery text alerts

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

Text purporting to be from shipping giants FedEx and DHL have been popping up on people’s phones.

  • The texts often include a fake “tracking code” and ask users to click a link to “confirm delivery options.”
  • However, FedEx has confirmed the texts are fake.
  • The company advises customers to delete the texts without clicking the link because it gathers personal information that may be stored and sold by the scammers.
  • FedEx points out that customers can enroll in its official alerts by texting “enroll” to 48773.
  • The company also offers an online service called FedEx Delivery Manager that lets users set delivery options.

There are a few telltale signs that the texts aren’t real.

  • First, the texts often contained an alphanumeric “tracking code” that doesn’t resemble FedEx’s official formatting for tracking numbers.
  • Second, the name “FedEx” often appears in all capital letters, which is not how the company stylizes the name.
  • Finally, the URL sent is often a seemingly random string of letters and numbers at a “.info” domain followed by additional random characters.
  • This latest round of texts typically include your first name — but keep in mind that scammers can obtain matching cell phone numbers and names from a variety of sources, so just because it’s personalized doesn’t make it legit.
  • In most cases, delivery companies display basic shipping information and status updates without requiring a login or other personal information.

Here’s how to protect yourself:

  • Look for clues, like the ones mentioned above, that the text may be fake.
  • Don’t click on links that don’t contain the company’s official domain (such as fedex.com, ups.com or dhl.com).
  • Look carefully, however, as scammers often register domains that contain the word or a close misspelling of the official company name to trick people into thinking the URL is real.
  • If in doubt, open your browser and type the company’s website address into the browser window yourself manually and copy and paste the tracking number into it — the site will tell you if it’s a legitimate tracking number or not.
  • Better yet, create an account with all major shipping companies and use their online portal and official SMS alert features to track and manage deliveries.
  • Never provide a credit card number or other personal information in response to a text about delivery preferences. Most shipping companies will never ask you for this information since they have no need for it in most cases or already have it on file.
  • Keep in mind that it’s not enough to check the “from” number either — it’s fairly easy to “spoof” numbers to make texts appear to be coming from a different number.