BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is asking Idahoans to be on the lookout for a text-based scam connected to the worldwide shipping company FedEx.
Potential victims receive a text, purportedly from FedEx, with a tracking code and a request to “set delivery preferences.” Officials say the text includes a link that, when clicked, takes the user to an Amazon listing with a customer satisfaction survey that promises a reward. If fully executed, the scam ends with customers inadvertently signing up for expensive services they’ll be billed for later.
The ploy highlights an increase in text-related scams.
“E-mails and robocalls have long been the preferred medium for scammers to make contact with potential victims,” Wasden said. “But these criminals have refined their text-based scams in recent years, and the FedEx example is a good illustration of their expansion into this medium.”
Experts say a good way to check the authenticity of a tracking number is to visit the shipper’s website and enter it. If the number isn’t recognized, it’s part of a scam.
FedEx says it does not send unsolicited text messages or e-mails to its customers. The company recommends deleting –- without opening –- any suspicious texts. It asks recipients to report the texts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As is the case with phone calls, we have to treat unsolicited texts from unknown sources with significant skepticism,” Wasden said. “These days, if it feels like a scam, there’s a good chance it is.”
Both FedEx and the Federal Trade Commission FTC have more information on spotting text-related scams online.
“We are committed to protecting the security and integrity of our network,” the company said in a statement. “While there is no foolproof method to prevent the FedEx name from being used in a scam, we are constantly monitoring for such activity and work cooperatively with law enforcement.”