Ask Mary: Text Message Fraud

Have you received a text like this? One with personalization, maybe about a lost package? Fraudsters want you to simply click on the link “to check the status of your package” or “arrange for delivery.” But, what appears to be an everyday text message is actually a scam.

While we all have been trying to live in our socially distanced bubbles, I am sure I am not the only one who has ordered one too many things online and lost track of what I ordered and what hasn’t been delivered. Over the past few months, I have ordered quite a few things that were on backorder, so when I received the first text, I almost clicked the link knowing I was waiting on some things to arrive.

Fraudsters are betting on the fact that a simple personalized text may just be the key to more information. The text messages come from what appear to be legitimate phone numbers. Many of these texts are personalized with your first name, have a USPS Reference number and a quick link for your use. Receiving the text is not the bad part, but trouble sets in if your curiosity makes you click on the link. That link COULD download malware on to your phone and gather personal information either provided by the phone user or from the data stored on your phone. As many of us have saved passwords onto our devices more quickly than we do on our traditional personal computers, this could be the pot of gold for fraudsters.

Spread the word to your coworkers, family, friends, account holders and anyone else who will listen to you – Stop and think before you click!