Expecting a package? If so, don’t fall victim to delivery scams

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Are you expecting a package delivery this holiday season?

If so, scammers may try to dupe you with bogus emails or text messages about a shipment to steal your personal information, the Federal Trade Commission warned in a consumer alert.

People who buy items online typically get several notifications related to that purchase, such as order, shipping and delivery confirmations.

But scammers send seemingly identical notes: They may send messages about a missed delivery attempt, urging you to click a link to reschedule delivery, according to the FTC. The scammers might also say an item is ready to ship but the buyer needs to update their shipping preferences.

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These con artists try to coax people to click fake website links, where unsuspecting victims may enter their personal or financial information, the FTC said.

“It’ll capture all the information you enter,” Alvaro Puig, a consumer education specialist, wrote in the alert. “The link could also install harmful malware on your phone or computer that steals your information.”

Usernames and passwords to online banking, email or social media accounts may be compromised, he said. Scammers can use that data to steal a victim’s identification and open new accounts in their name.

Such digital frauds happens all year round, but people may be especially susceptible during the holidays, when shippers are expected to send about 82 million parcels a day, according to ShipMatrix.

To protect yourself, don’t click on links in messages about unexpected package deliveries, the FTC warns.

Further, if you think the message may be legitimate, don’t contact the shipper via information provided in the note. Reach out via a website or phone number you know is real. Look up delivery status on the site where you bought the item, according to the FTC.

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