BBB warns of "new twist" on delivery scams

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a "new twist" on delivery scams this holiday season.

How it works is the scammer will send a text message from what appears to be a delivery driver looking for the intended victim's home, saying something like "Hi! My name is Tony. I work for FedEx, and I'm trying to find your house. Please call me." 

If the victim calls the number, the scammer will then ask to confirm personal details, including the victim's name, address, and possibly even credit card information. The caller may even try to convince the victim the package is a gift from a friend or relative if they don't remember ordering anything.

The BBB also advises consumers to be wary of texts or emails asking them to reschedule a delivery or pay a small delivery fee. While the messages often might look legitimate with official logos and professional language, if you click, you might download malware onto your device that could give scammers access to your personal information and passwords.

In either case, the package doesn't exist. The BBB says that if the message seems a little strange, trust your gut and it's probably a scam.

READ MORE: ‘Things are busy around here’: Checking in with delivery drivers this holiday season

How do I avoid delivery scams?

The BBB has a couple of tips to follow to avoid falling victim to a delivery scam:

  • Keep track of your deliveries. Scammers hope you'll just assume they are talking about a package you ordered recently, without double-checking, so know what packages you are expecting, from what companies, and when.
  • Know delivery company policies. Delivery companies will never contact you with unsolicited calls or texts. Depending on how you signed up for notifications, messages are usually posted within a secure online portal. Be wary of unsolicited messages, especially if you never signed up for text alerts.
  • Never give sensitive personal information to strangers. If an unsolicited caller asks you for personal information, even if they claim to represent a company you trust, hang up and call the company using the official customer service number.

For more ways to avoid delivery scams, click here.

If you spot a delivery scam, the BBB encourages reporting it to their Scam Tracker.