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Fake Text Messages: How to Spot and Avoid Scams

Fake Text Messages: How to Spot and Avoid Scams

Fake text messages have become a common tool for scammers to trick people into giving away their personal information or money. These messages often appear to be from reputable delivery companies such as UPS, FedEx, or USPS, and they claim that there is a problem with a package delivery. The message may ask the recipient to click on a link, call a phone number, or provide personal information to resolve the issue.

Understanding Fake Delivery Notice Text Messages 

Fake text messages are a type of phishing scam that uses social engineering to trick people into giving away their information. These messages often appear to be legitimate, and they may use the logos and branding of well-known delivery companies to make them seem more convincing. 

Key Takeaways

  • These text messages are a common tool for scammers to trick people into giving away their personal information or money.
  • These messages often appear to be from reputable delivery companies and may use common features such as generic language, spelling and grammar errors, and a sense of urgency.
  • To protect yourself from scams, it is important to be aware of these common features and to avoid clicking on links or providing personal information.

Common Features of Fake Text Messages

Fake text messages involving delivery notices are a common type of scam that targets people through their mobile phones. These messages are designed to look like legitimate texts from well-known delivery companies such as USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Amazon. However, they are actually sent by scammers who are trying to trick people into providing personal information, or clicking on malicious links. Here are some common features.

Suspicious Sender Information

One of the most obvious signs of a fake text message is the sender information. Scammers often use false or suspicious phone numbers to send these messages. They may also use names or logos that are slightly different from the real delivery companies. For example, they may use “USPS Delivery” instead of “USPS” or “UPS Express” instead of “UPS.”

Urgent or Threatening Language

These fake text messages often use urgent or threatening language to try to get people to respond quickly. They may claim that there is a problem with a delivery, or that a package is being held until the recipient provides additional information. They may also threaten to charge extra fees or penalties if the recipient does not respond immediately. These tactics are designed to create a sense of urgency and panic, which can make people more likely to fall for the scam.

Request for Personal Information

Another common feature of text messages like these is a request for personal information. Scammers may ask for things like a recipient’s name, address, phone number, or credit card information. They may also ask the recipient to click on a link, or download an attachment to provide additional information. These requests are designed to steal personal information that can be used for identity theft or other fraudulent activities.

Impact of Fake Text Messages

These can have a significant impact on individuals and businesses. Scams like this can lead to financial loss, identity theft, and other negative consequences. The following are some of the impacts they can have:

senior woman arguing with her bank over the phone

Financial Loss

One of the most significant impacts of scam text messages is financial loss. Scammers often use these messages to trick people into paying for delivery fees, customs fees, or other charges. In some cases, the scammers may ask for payment in the form of gift cards or other non-traceable methods, making it impossible to recover the lost funds.

Identity Theft

Fake text messages can also lead to identity theft. Scammers may ask for personal information, such as a social security number or credit card information, under the guise of verifying the recipient’s identity. This information can then be used to open fraudulent accounts or make unauthorized purchases, leading to significant financial and personal damage.

Disruption of Business Operations

Businesses can also be impacted by these types of text messages. Employees may fall for these scams and inadvertently compromise sensitive information, or infect company devices with malware. This can lead to disruptions in business operations, loss of data, and other negative consequences.

Loss of Trust

Finally, fake text messages can lead to a loss of trust between consumers and legitimate delivery companies. If people receive numerous fake messages purporting to be from a delivery company, they may become wary of all such messages, even if they are legitimate. This can lead to a loss of business for legitimate companies and damage to their reputation.

Overall, they can have a significant impact on individuals and businesses. It is important to be vigilant and cautious when receiving such messages, and to verify their authenticity before taking any action.

How to Identify Fake Text Messages

Fake text message
Actual fake text message I received

Text message scams claiming to be delivery notifications are on the rise. Here are some tips to help you identify these types of messages and avoid being scammed.

Check the Sender’s Contact Details

The first thing to do is to check the sender’s contact details. Legitimate delivery companies will always use their official company name and contact information in their messages. If the sender’s name or contact details seem suspicious or unfamiliar, it’s likely a scam.

Look for Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Scammers often make spelling and grammar mistakes in their messages. Mostly because the scammers are from another country and English isn’t their first language. Kolkata, India is a hotbed for scammers If you notice any mistakes, it’s a red flag that the message is fake. Legitimate delivery companies take pride in their communication skills and will not send messages with errors.

Verify with the Delivery Company

If you receive a text message containing a delivery notification, don’t click on any links or give away personal information without verifying the message’s authenticity with the delivery company. You can do this by visiting the company’s official website or calling their customer service hotline.

Remember, legitimate delivery companies will never ask for your personal information or payment details via text message. If you receive a message requesting this information, it’s a scam. Stay vigilant and follow the tips above to avoid falling victim to scams.

Steps to Take if You Receive a Fake Text Message

If you receive a text message claiming to be from a delivery company, but you are not expecting a package, it may be a scam. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

Don’t Click on Any Links

If the text message includes a link, do not click on it. The link may lead to a fake website that looks like the delivery company’s website, but is designed to steal your personal information. Instead, if you believe that you actually have a package heading your way, contact the delivery company directly using a phone number or email address that you know is legitimate. By staying vigilant and informed, you can protect yourself from these common scams.

Report to the Relevant Authorities

If you receive a fake text message, report it to the relevant authorities. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends reporting the scam to the delivery carrier’s website directly. You can also report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Inform the Delivery Company

If you receive a fake text message claiming to be from a specific delivery company, inform the company. The delivery company may have a dedicated email address or phone number for reporting scams. For example, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has an email address for reporting smishing scams related to USPS packages.

By taking these steps, you can protect yourself from scams, and help prevent others from falling victim to them.

Preventing Fake Text Messages

The bottom line is, you can’t. When it comes to preventing fake text messages, there are not really any steps that can be taken to stop them. You could block the number, but they use spoofed numbers that change constantly. 

But you can avoid them. 

Avoiding them requires a combination of good security practices and common sense. By being wary of unsolicited messages, and regularly updating all devices, users can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to these types of scams.

In Conclusion

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from fake text message scams. By being aware of the risks, and taking steps to verify the authenticity of any messages you receive, you can help to keep your personal information safe. If you do fall victim to a scam, it is important to report it to the relevant authorities so that they can take action to prevent others from being scammed.

As always, if you have a question about this or any other post, please leave a comment below, or you can email me at

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