Another phishing – or “smishing” scam has recently been gracing our cell phones with its presence – the “Waiting Package” scam. With most of us increasing our online orders over the last few months to avoid the crowded stores, it was only a matter of time before cyber criminals came up with another elaborate plan to scam us.
This latest scam disguises itself as an online delivery service claiming to have information about a package you – or someone you know – has ordered in your name.
Here we’ll take you through what the “Waiting Package” scam is all about, what to do next if you think someone is trying to scam you, and how to protect yourself from a phishing scam like this.
How Does The Waiting Package Scam Work?
This new phishing scam is disguised as a package delivery alert and comes through a text message sent to your phone stating that you have a package waiting for you. The text of the message can vary but the idea is that it includes a link for you to click on to find out more information on the package, or to confirm your delivery preferences.
When clicking on the link, the scammer can then trick you into giving out personal information – like your home address, social security number, passwords or credit card information – by making it seem like a legitimate delivery service website. Clicking on these links could also allow the scammer to download malware onto your device, giving them access to even more personal information stored in your mobile phone.
In most cases, this “waiting package” phishing scam is targeting college students who had to leave campus in a hurry, after Coronavirus restrictions were imposed. The text messages claim that their packages have been waiting for them since last Spring and that they need to submit their information quickly, or they might lose the contents of their package.
How To Protect Yourself From Waiting Package Scams
As the world of e-commerce grows, and online shopping becomes the norm, many of us tend to let our guard down – this is when scammers can take advantage. Here are some helpful tips to stay vigilant online and protect yourself from falling for a Waiting Package scam.
- If you receive a text message about your package information, avoid clicking on any links found in the message. With most online delivery services, you should be able to log directly into your account on the website to track your package. Or use the contact information page to speak to someone directly.
- When making an online purchase, be sure to always check the website is secure before submitting your payment information. You can do this by looking for the padlock icon in your URL bar. This means your information is encrypted and can’t be accessed by third parties.
- Never give out your personal information, bank account details or passwords to anyone over the phone. An employee from a reputable e-commerce website, such as Amazon, will never ask you for that information in order to deliver your package.
- Be sure to look out for spelling or grammatical errors in the text message. These days scammers have become more sophisticated, but a spelling error is almost always an indication of a scam.
- If the text message about your waiting package makes reference to a company that the delivery is coming from – start doing your research before taking further action. You can run the company name through the Federal Trade Commission or the Better Business Bureau to find out if it is a legitimate company or not.
- Stay ahead of scammers and learn the tricks of the trade. Learn what makes a scammer successful so that you don’t fall for their tricks.
E-commerce and online shopping is the way of the future and shouldn’t be feared. The number one rule to staying safe online is to be vigilant about the information you’re putting online, and how you’re doing it. Keep checking our blog to stay informed, to learn more about the mind of an internet scammer, and for more information on the latest phishing scams.