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Scammers Are Phishing for Information With Package Delivery Texts, New Alerts Warn

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Mar. 29 2022, Published 4:30 a.m. ET

Anti-cybercrime website Online Threat Alerts released warnings about “Holding This 4 You” and “Pick Up Your Stuff” scams on March 27. These scams are similar: in both cases, the targeted person receives a text message about an order that cannot be delivered without the person taking action. However, both messages lead to phishing websites, the site reports.

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According to Online Threat Alerts, the “Pick Up Your Stuff” scam involves text messages about packages “waiting for confirmation on the shipping destination.” These messages contain links to a website with the domain pickupyourstuff.com.

The “Pick Up Your Stuff” scam claims a package can’t be delivered without a balance paid

The recipients of these text messages are told that they can’t receive the packages unless they pay the remaining tax balance, but the website is actually a phishing website designed to trick targets into disclosing their credit card information. Online Threat Alerts reports that these text messages have come from phone numbers in the 312 and 772 area codes. Consumers who commented on the alert also reported getting texts in this vein from the 561 area code.

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The “Holding This 4 You” scam claims the same

Online Threat Alerts warned consumers about the “Holding This 4 You” scam as well. It operates like the “Pick Up Your Stuff” scam, in that the recipient supposedly has a package that’s being delayed until the recipient pays the remaining tax balance. Users have reported that the in-limbo product is purported to be a Dyson V11 vacuum cleaner.

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But again, the website holdingthis4you.com is a phishing site, Online Threat Alerts reports. These text messages have come from the 646, 772, and 571 area codes, according to comments on the post. The website IPAddress.com reports that the holdingthis4you.com domain was registered on March 27, the same day that Online Threat Alerts posted the alert.

Similar text messages have been circulating for months

ABC affiliate ABC13 in Houston, Tex., reported on package tracking scams in Dec. 2021 after a reporter and a producer in the newsroom got the same text message about shipments that are “waiting for [the recipient] to confirm the shipment address.”

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As ABC13 reported at the time, you can spot these scam texts when they’re sent from what appears to be a personal phone number, when they don’t mention specific companies, when they ask you to update a shipping address, or when they contain spelling errors. And the newsroom recommends staying safe by only tracking packages from links from the online receipts you get from retailers and by never clicking on unnamed text message links.

And the United States Postal Service released a warning about “smishing”—or SMS phishing—on March 24. “USPS will not send customers text messages or e-mails without a customer first requesting the service with a tracking number, and it will not contain a link,” the agency said. “So, if you did not initiate the tracking request for a specific package directly from USPS and it contains a link: don’t click the link!” For more information about avoiding phishing, consult the FTC’s webpage on the topic.

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