A shipping scam where predators seek to gain an individual’s personal information “has escalated” amid an increase in online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Redlands Police Department warned Wednesday.
The scam starts with what appears to be an email from UPS or FedEx, telling the person they have an item that’s ready to ship but their shipping preferences first need to be updated, according to a post on the Police Department’s Facebook page.
In reality, however, there is no package: it’s a scam aimed at getting the person to click on a link or download an attachment that will end with malware being surreptitiously installed on their device, police said.
Malware allows the predator to access your personal information, police added.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau have several recommendations to avoid becoming a potential victim of such a scam.
The agencies advise the following: not clicking on any links or opening attachments that appear in an unexpected email or text message; signing up for updates on the UPS or FedEx websites when expecting a package; keep software, internet browser and operating system updated; and make sure to “protect your personal information at all times,” including name, address, Social Security, birth date and account numbers.
Those who think they may have been the victim of a scam are urged to call San Bernardino County APS at 1-877-565-2020 or their local police department.