This week a new text message scam became enough of an issue that FedEx itself needed to send an alert to news stations. As police warnings began to appear on social networks like Twitter, early reports sparked interest from the team at FedEx that monitors shipping service abuse. This system resulted in the following warning.
UPDATE: Part of the warning from FedEx was a canned response that can also be found on the FedEx “about” page for “Phishing Email”. That included the following – slightly reworded in the newest response, originally: “While there is no foolproof method to prevent the respected FedEx name from being used in spam emails or potential scams, we are constantly monitoring for such activity and work cooperatively with law enforcement agencies around the world.”
FedEx originally suggested that customers “be suspicious of any request not coming directly from a FedEx employee or domain name, especially if it contains an attachment which the customer is asked to open.” That’s good for emails, but what about text messages? The newest FedEx scam centers on text messages that include web URL links.
“FedEx does not send unsolicited text messages or emails to customers requesting money or package or personal information,” said the newest message from FedEx to the press. “Any suspicious text messages or emails should be deleted without being opened, and reported to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Before you delete any such thing, it’s generally a good idea to snap a screenshot or, if you’re unable to capture a screenshot, use a secondary device with a camera to snap a photo of the text message. It might seem wacky to do so, but whatever works, works!
The most important point here is that JUST BECAUSE a text message has an official name in it – like FEDEX – doesn’t mean it can be trusted. The newest scam has the user click a link to redirect a package. This can coincide with the user awaiting a real package, but can also ensnare users who believe they’ve been sent this message accidentally, looking instead to have a package they did not order sent to their home for a free payday.
In any case, FedEx does not send messages like this with links that’ll end up capturing your personal information – or something so seemingly innocuous as an address. Don’t believe them – they’re malicious!