If You Get This Message From FedEx, Delete It, Officials Warn
Customers are reporting an increases in these types of texts.
As one of the largest shipping and logistics companies in the world, millions of people each day count on FedEx to send and receive essential packages and parcels. Their delivery trucks have become even more prominent in the era of online shopping and the e-commerce boom brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, officials are warning that reports of strange or unexpected messages claiming to be from FedEx are on the rise. Read on to see why you should delete these suspicious texts as soon as you receive them.
RELATED: The USPS Just Issued This Major Warning to Customers.
"Smishing" scams that attempt to steal your personal data via text have been on the rise.
If you own a phone of any kind, you're probably all too familiar with the onslaught of unwanted calls and text messages that seem to come out of nowhere. For years, they've typically involved someone trying to warn you about unpaid taxes or an expired vehicle warranty. But a recent trend has seen text messages known as "smishing" scams—a combination of the shorthand SMS used to describe text messages and the word "phishing" that describes fraud attempts—have begun flooding people's inboxes.
According to data from anti-spam tool company Teltech, the number of scam messages sent in the U.S. increased 30 percent from February to March of this year to more than 11.6 billion, The New York Times reports. The figure outpaced scam phone calls during the same period by 20 percent.
Fraudsters pretending to be from FedEx are running a new scam sent through text message.
One version of "smishing" scams that appears to be making the rounds involves receiving a message that claims to be from FedEx. In some cases, the texts can include a link that requests you to update your "delivery preferences" for a package that's en route. In others, it can claim that there was just a failed delivery attempt on an expensive item.
Experts warn that anyone who then opens the messages and clicks the attached links may be asked to provide their credit card information to secure a later delivery, allowing scammers to then use it for fraud. But links in the latest version of the scam could also download malware to your device, giving hackers almost unlimited access to your personal data or files.
RELATED: For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
There are a few hints that you've received a "smishing" text message.
According to experts, several red flags can make it easier to spot a scam text message when you receive one. Similar to spam emails, be wary of any communications that use strange punctuation or contain multiple spelling errors, as this is how such messages bypass filters set up by most wireless companies, The Times reports. And while you should treat any messages from numbers you don't recognize as suspicious, you should be especially wary of anything sent from a number with 10 digits or more—even if it appears to have come from your own.
There are still a few ways to stop or cut down on the number of unwanted text messages you receive.
In a tweet from the company, FedEx reminds customers that it never requests payment or personal information through unsolicited texts or emails. Instead, they recommend deleting the messages without opening them and reporting the issue by emailing [email protected]
Given the scam's recent shift to text, experts are also warning that you should avoid ever clicking any links sent by an unknown number or even replying to it in any way. Instead, block the number and report it as a scam by forwarding it to 7726 (SPAM) on any carrier before deleting it from your inbox, according to The Times. If you're still unsure if a message is authentic or not, look up the company's customer service number that may have contacted you and reach out to a representative to verify the claim.