Identified Scam:

Beware of the Parcel Tracking Text Scam

Delivery companies like FedEx, USPS, and UPS are being impersonated in text messages instructing recipients to visit a scam website—here's what you need to know.


Verified.org
Updated 16 June 2022
Beware of the Parcel Tracking Text Scam

Phishing Statistics 2021


90% of data breaches are caused by phishing
3.4 billion phishing emails are sent every day

1.4 million phishing websites are created every month

Source: Digital InTheRound, 2021

Sections on this page
  1. How Does the Parcel Tracking Text Scam Work?
  2. What Genuine Package Tracking Texts Look Like
  3. What to Do If You Fall for This Scam
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

Proceed with caution if you've received a package tracking text out of the blue. Before you click on any links, look for signs of a scam. Scammers are impersonating delivery companies in parcel tracking text scams that trick you into clicking phishing links which can result in having your identity stolen.

How Does the Parcel Tracking Text Scam Work?

There are several different versions of this scam, but all have the same goal of getting you to click the link within the text message and enter your sensitive information.

Most of them will have some kind of action you need to complete for the delivery to be completed, such as to:

  • Confirm the shipment address
  • Set your delivery preferences
  • Assume ownership
  • Pay for shipping fees or customs charges
  • Reschedule the delivery
  • Track your shipment

FedEx parcel tracking text scam

USPS parcel tracking text scam

UPS parcel tracking text scam

Do Not Click the Link

The scammer's goal is to have you click the link and enter your information onto the phishing website. Once you do this, the scammer will be sent the information which they will use to commit other scams, steal your identity, and even steal your money.

The text message was fake, and there was no package to track or confirm in the first place. You've just been tricked into giving the scammer your personal or financial information.

USPS Does Not Include Links in Their Text Message

If you receive a text about a USPS delivery, you can be sure it's a scam if it includes a link. USPS states that they don't have links to websites in their tracking text messages.

Some personal and financial information that the phishing website may ask for includes your:

  • Full name
  • Shipping address
  • Financial information (e.g., credit card number)
  • Social Security number (SSN)
  • Signs of a Scam Text Message

The good thing about these scam texts is that they're relatively easy to identify. The key is to pay attention to the link—does it look legitimate or not?

Look at the domain and see if it matches who the sender is. For example, if the text message says it's from FedEx, the URL should include fedex.com as the primary domain.

Signs of a fake package tracking text message include:

  • Links that don't match the delivery company's website
  • Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
  • The use of threatening or pushy language
  • Text messages that are filtered into your Spam folder
  • Unsolicited mobile text messages
  • A request for your personal or financial information via text

How to Avoid Text Message Scams

Block spam/scam text messages via your messaging app or by using a spam-blocker app. Also, never click on any links in text messages unless you can verify that they're trustworthy.

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What Genuine Package Tracking Texts Look Like

Delivery companies sending physical goods do send tracking text messages, but usually only if you've authorized these notifications first.

USPS Tracking Text Messages

If you're tracking a parcel delivered by USPS, it won't include a link in the message. Instead, it will simply give you the current status, whether it's waiting to be picked up, leaving the carrier facility, or on the way.

You'll only receive these texts if you've requested text updates.

Real USPS text message
Genuine USPS parcel tracking texts, like this one, won't include any links.

FedEx

To get FedEx text updates for your deliveries, you need to request these first—you won't automatically get texts for all of your packages. These text messages will contain a link for you to see more tracking information. You can tell these texts are legitimate because the link takes you to a "fedex.com" page.

Real FedEx parcel tracking texts.
You can tell these FedEx text messages are real because the tracking links take you to FedEx.com.

UPS

You'll only receive UPS tracking updates via text if you've opted into the service. In the U.S., these texts will only be sent from the phone number: 69877. Links within the text will either be to:

  • ups.com
  • m.ups.com (the UPS mobile site)

Texts sent from any other number are not genuine UPS tracking texts.

What to Do If You Fall for This Scam

If you fell for this scam and entered your information into a phishing website, it's essential to act quickly. Scammers steal personal information you entered and can use it to carry out more scams, make multiple online purchases with your credit card, steal your identity, and more.

If you entered your information onto a scam website, you should:

  • Notify your bank if you entered your bank account or credit card information.
  • Place a fraud alert or freeze your credit if you entered your Social Security number.
  • Report the scam to the relevant delivery company.
  • Report the scam to the authorities.
  • Change your passwords for relevant accounts if you entered login information.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Which delivery companies are being impersonated?

All of the major delivery companies have been targeted by scammers in these package tracking scams, including USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL.

Do shipping companies send text messages?

Yes, delivery companies do send text message tracking updates. However, they do not send them unsolicited—you need to opt-in to this service before you'll receive a text. You can tell the difference between a genuine tracking text and a deceptive text message by looking at the URL included and looking for other signs of a scam, such as spelling and grammatical issues.

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