WebsiteCompass 17 You receive notice about a problem with the delivery of your package when you haven’t made a tracking request. For example, unless you explicitly sign up for status alerts on a package, you won’t receive a text from USPS. So, if you receive a text message citing one, it’s certainly a fake. The message contains misspellings, awkward grammar, or excessive use of capitalization and exclamation points. These are classic signs of a scam attempt. Keep in mind, however, that with artificial intelligence and other advanced technology, scammers are becoming more sophisticated in their replication of legitimate business communications. The text—and/or the website it leads you to—requests payment and/or seemingly unnecessary information. You may be asked for a redelivery fee or a fee to release your shipment. The scammers may also request personal information such as your address, Social Security number, or credit card number. The website address is slightly altered compared to the real one. Instead of “fedex.com,” the scammers may use “fedx.com.” There is no tracking number when there should be. UPS says on its site, “If UPS contacts you regarding a package, the UPS representative will always be able to provide a tracking number, which you can verify on our website.” How to Protect Yourself To avoid becoming the victim of a fake delivery-service text, take these precautions: • Don’t click on any link unless you can verify that it’s legitimate. Scammers are skilled at making their links look legitimate at first glance. • If you’re suspicious of a tracking number, check it out. If the text cites a tracking number, copy and paste it into the search engine on the delivery service’s actual website. You’re likely to find it’s a fake. • Go to the source. If you’re concerned that there might be a problem with a package you’re receiving or have sent, contact the delivery carrier directly, not through the link in the text. In general, you should always be suspicious if you receive a message out of the blue asking for personal or financial information. 4 Steps to Protect Your Packages Not all delivery problems are the result of scammers sending you fake texts. Sometimes the issue is related to how you send or receive packages. Keep these steps in mind: 1. T ake precautions to ensure a safe delivery. If you’re having a valuable or fragile item sent somewhere, purchase shipping insurance. 2. R equest a signature. This feature can be well worth the extra fee, since it means the delivery service won’t be able to drop a package on your doorstep unless someone is around to sign for it. 3. Don’t leave packages sitting on your doorstep. Packages left sitting outside are vulnerable to theft. To ensure safe delivery, have your package delivered to your workplace or to a trusted friend or neighbor who will be home to accept delivery. Some delivery companies now have lockers where your packages can securely wait for you to pick them up using a one-time code. 4. Open your delivery upon receipt to check for damage or signs of tampering. Contact the seller immediately if you believe something is wrong with the shipment or it’s not what you ordered.