FTC warns of ‘package pending’ text message phishing scam

Local news

Law enforcement is warning folks about a new “package pending” text message scam that aims to steal your information and identity, according to KTLA sister station WJZY in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In the type of phishing scam, known as “smishing,” cybercriminals send SMS messages to get someone to click a malicious link or provide personal data.

Based on the information they obtain, criminals can steal someone’s identity, empty their bank account, or install malware in their phone, the Federal Trade Commission said in a statement.

The FTC warned that one version of the scam takes users to a fake Amazon website.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department

“There, you’re invited to take a customer satisfaction survey. And you might just win a free prize,” said the FTC. “But to get it, you have to give them your credit card number to pay for shipping.”

The most common message users receive follows the format of, “We came across a package from June pending for you. Please assume ownership and schedule for delivery here.” The text is followed by a link. 

“Best course of action? Ignore the message. Do not click on suspicious links, and don’t provide personally-identifying info. You can also block the number that the text came from,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said on Facebook.

Law enforcement officials want residents to share this information with their elderly family members or neighbors, who they say can be more susceptible to this type of crime.

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