During the social distancing and quarantining that has become the hallmark of the Coronavirus pandemic, deliveries by UPS, Federal Express, Amazon and others have become the primary way many of us are doing all or almost all of our shopping.  Scammers are always taking advantage of whatever is popular with people and there is no shortage of scams related to deliveries following online purchases.  I have written about many of these, but there are always new ones popping up.

Recently many people are reporting receivng text messages that appear to come from UPS or Federal Express indicating that it is necessary for you to update your delivery preferences.  In order to do so you are asked to click on a link and provide personal information.  Unfortunately, if you click on the link one of two things will happen.  Either you will be taken to a page where you provide your personal information to a criminal who will use the information to make you a victim of identity theft or you will download dangerous malware, such as ransomware, merely by clicking on the link.

If you receive an email  or text message from a company that asks you to click on a link or download an attachment, you should hesitate to do so, particularly if it appears bogus.  Never click on any link in an email or text message until you have confirmed that it is legitimate.  It is important to remember that through a technique called “spoofing,” scammers can make a phone call appear to come from any telephone number that they wish.  Also, although it is important to have security software on all of your electronic devices, you can’t totally rely on your security software to protect you from the latest forms of zero-day defect malware for which there has not yet been issued a security update.   If you have the slightest thought that an email or text message asking you to click on a link may be legitimate, rather than click on the link, go to the website of the company, which in the case of Federal Express is www.fedex.com or call them directly at 1-800-463-3339.  Also, if you wish to track a Federal Express delivery go directly to the website of Federal Express rather than click on any link in an email or text message that purports to take you to the Federal Express website.  Similarly, you can do the same for other delivery services.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”