People across the country have been receiving a strange text message the past few weeks. It claims a package is waiting for you to pick up.
David Landeen was tossing wood on his fire pit the other evening at his Colerain Township home, north of Cincinnati, when his phone buzzed with a text message.
"It came from this phone number that I did not recognize, area code 470," he said. That area code is one from Atlanta.
The text said, "David, we came across a package from June pending for you. Kindly assume ownership and confirm for delivery here."
This is no generic "Dear Customer" scam that many of us have received, claiming to be from our bank, credit card or even Apple.
"This was different from those e-mail scams," Landeen said. "I had never received a text scam before, so I wasn't sure if that was what it was."
Landeen was tempted to click the link, because the sender knew his name.
"They had my name, and of course had to have my phone number to send me a text," he said.
What makes this text message so suspicious is that it doesn't say whether it is from the US Postal Service, UPS, Amazon or FedEx, all services that would let you know if they had your package.
It turns out, it was a good thing he didn't click.
What happens if you click
Tech expert Kim Komando investigatedand learned that people who clicked the link were told they had won a gift card.
It asks you to fill out a form, and give your credit card number. And the fine print says that you agree to some monthly "discount" subscription.
So you could be scammed twice, Komando says.
Police agencies across the country are telling people to simply not click the link at all, because you don't know if that exposes your phone's information to hackers.
Police believe the sender may have purchased your name and cell phone number from a data breach. Luckily, it appears they don't have your other information, unless you click through and give it to them.
But with most of us shopping online so much these days, this package-pending scam is an easy one to fall for.
"We're getting lots of packages these days delivered, and I thought this could possibly be one of those," Landeen said.
So resist the urge to click, so you don't waste your money.
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