People are getting fake package delivery text alerts

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.