Are you expecting the perfect Christmas gift to arrive at your doorstep?
If so, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is raising awareness and warning shoppers around the holiday season to beware of scammers.
In a news release Thursday, the FTC said that scammers send fake invoices and shipping message scams.
But these scammers have malicious intent and are attempting to steal consumer’s personal information, the government organization warned.
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Like many scams, the FTC said that scammers will mimic what many companies will do and send confirmation emails and text messages following the order.
However, the near-identical message from the scammer will swindle consumers by telling them to click on a link.
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The FTC said that swindlers might say that the consumer missed a delivery attempt and asks them to click on a link to re-schedule the delivery. Or it could say that the item is ready to ship but the consumer needs to update their shipping preferences.
Other scams create a sense of urgency by saying if the consumer does not respond right away, they will return the package to the sender.
Authorities say that the scammer hopes that the victim will click on the link, which will immediately prompt them to enter personal information, including: online banking information, social media accounts and email addresses.
The FTC warned that clicking on the link from the scammer could also install harmful malware on the victim’s phone or computer that will steal personal information.
What to do:
- If you get a message about an unexpected package delivery, an invoice for something you didn’t order, or anything else that tells you to click on a link or call a number, don’t.
- If you think the message may be legitimate, contact the shipping company using a phone number or website that you know is real. Don’t use the information in the message.
- If you think it could be about something you recently ordered, go to the site where you bought the item and look up the shipping and delivery status there.
“No matter the time of year, it always pays to protect your personal information,” the FTC said.
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