Idaho Attorney General warns of “FedEx” scam

Posted at 3:36 PM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 17:36:07-05

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

“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.”