Fake UPS Text Messages Scam: Examples & Tips to Identify

Jun 7, 2024 | Fraud | 0 comments

When it comes to fake text messages or spam designed to steal personal information from users, scammers adapt to the victims and the most effective techniques. Unfortunately, one of the most common methods is to use fake delivery notifications. Last year alone, about 180 billion malicious text messages were sent, confirming the growing threat

A major threat within this category is fake UPS text messages, which exploit our trust in well-known companies to steal personal and financial information. In this post, we’ll explore how these scams work and give you some tips to help you identify and protect yourself from them.

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What Is the Fake UPS Text Messages Scam? 

The fake UPS text messages scam is a common form of phishing, where scammers pretend to be the delivery service UPS to trick people. In these scams, the sender claims to represent UPS and sends text messages that contain fake information about package deliveries, such as delivery problems or unpaid shipping fees. 

Check out this article to learn about the 7 Things Could Identify a Phishing Email

How Does Fake UPS Text Messages Scam Work?

The UPS text message scam uses many kinds of tricks and strategies to scam victims. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of what happens when a person accidentally clicks on a link in one of these scam messages.

1. Data Theft: Personal and Financial Information at Risk

In these fake messages, links often lead to fake websites or fraudulent forms that appear to be UPS. Once the victim submits their personal information such as their social security number (SSN), full name, or address, it is immediately sent to the scammer’s server. This stolen data can be used in different ways:

  • Identity Theft: Scammers may use your personal information to commit identity theft, opening accounts in your name or obtaining credit.
  • Direct Financial Theft: If credit card or banking details are provided, these can be used to make unauthorized purchases or transfers.
  • Broader Fraud Schemes: Personal information can also be sold, exposing victims to a wider range of fraud and scams.

2. Financial Frauds Through Fake Fees

Another common tactic used in these scams involves tricking victims into paying fake fees:

  • Customs or Delivery Charges: The phishing site may claim that your package is stuck in customs or requires a small fee for delivery. Victims are instructed to pay these fees through methods difficult to track like gift cards or cryptocurrency, which are nearly impossible to recover.
  • Non-existent Services: Scammers might offer additional non-existent services like expedited delivery or insurance, demanding payment for these services.

You can read here about smart ways to avoid gift card scams.

3. Malware Installation 

In some cases, clicking on the link doesn’t lead to a phishing site, but instead results in the immediate download of malware onto the victim’s device. This malware can:

  • Steal Further Information: Gather passwords, account numbers, and other sensitive data stored on the device.
  • Spyware: Enable scammers to spy on the victim’s online activities, storing data and accessing private communications or sensitive information, such as your credit card number or bank account.
  • Ransomware: Lock the device or encrypt files and demand a payment in exchange for their release.

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Most Used Fake UPS Text Messages To Avoid

According to FTC data, in the first quarter of 2024, there were 8,608 reports of fraud through fake text messages, resulting in total losses of $8.3 million. But how can you identify a fake UPS text message from a real one? Here are five common UPS scam texts:

1. Package Redirection Scam

This scam involves a notification stating there was an issue delivering your package, such as an unverified location or absence during delivery time, and instructs you to click a link to redirect your package.

For example: “Your delivery was missed. To reschedule the delivery of your parcel, please visit: [malicious link] and confirm the redelivery fee ($1.20)”

How to Spot It?

Always verify any delivery changes by directly contacting UPS through their official customer service or website. Avoid using links sent in unsolicited texts.

2. Rescheduled Delivery Scam

This type of UPS text scam informs you that you’ve missed delivery or that your package has been rescheduled. The message typically includes a fake tracking number and urges you to click on a link to see your delivery status or arrange a new delivery time.

For example: “Your UPS package with tracking number 1Z204E380338943508 has been rescheduled. To view your updated delivery status or to arrange a new delivery time, please click here: [malicious link]”.

How to Spot It?

Check the tracking number on the official UPS website instead of clicking any links in the text. UPS will never ask for personal information via text to handle delivery issues.

3. Shipping Fees Scam

These messages claim that your package couldn’t be delivered due to unpaid shipping fees or customs charges, and you must pay these fees to release your package.

For example: “Hi, [your name]. We tried to deliver your parcel IPS-7589634, however there is an unpaid delivery fee. See the instructions: [malicious link]”.

How to Spot It?

Remember that all shipping fees are usually paid at the point of purchase. Contact UPS directly if you receive a message about extra fees after shipment.

4. Malware Scam

Some UPS scam texts include links that, when clicked, automatically download malware onto your device. This malware can then be used to access personal information, spy on you, or control your device.

For example: “Urgent notice for your USPS delivery 3F2J8 from 06/07/2024. Please proceed to [malicious link]”.

How to Spot It?

Do not click on links in unsolicited texts. Install and maintain updated antivirus software on your devices to prevent unauthorized downloads.

5. Prize or Reward Scam

In this scam, you might receive a message congratulating you on winning a prize or being selected for an exclusive reward, often asking you to complete a survey to claim your prize. The link directs users to a fake website created to steal personal information. 

For example: “Congratulations! You’ve been selected for an exclusive UPS reward. Complete this survey to claim your prize: [malicious link]” 

How to Spot It?

Be wary of texts that offer rewards or prizes, especially if they ask for personal information or payment to claim. Legitimate UPS rewards will not require such disclosures via text.

How to Identify a UPS Text Scam

Recognizing a UPS text scam is essential to protecting your personal information. Here are some tips to help you spot these scams:

  • Fake Tracking Numbers: Always verify tracking numbers on UPS.com/track to make sure they are legitimate.
  • Suspicious Links: Check the URL carefully. If it doesn’t lead to UPS.com, it’s likely a scam.
  • Strange Phone Numbers: UPS texts should come from MYUPS (69877) if you’re in the US. Verify your local UPS SMS number if you’re in another country.
  • Unexpected Delivery Notifications: If you aren’t expecting a package, be cautious. Scammers hope to catch you off guard when you’re not expecting a delivery.
  • Poor Grammar: Look for misspelled words, extra spaces, or words written together.
  • Requests for Money: Be careful of any message asking for payment to receive your package. UPS handles all fees through their official site, and requests for gift cards or cryptocurrency are definite red flags.
  • Unsolicited Messages with Links: UPS only sends text messages if you have a scheduled delivery and requested SMS updates. If you haven’t, avoid clicking on any 

links.

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FAQs About Fake UPS Text Messages Scam

What To Do If You’ve Fallen for a UPS Text Scam?

If you’ve fallen for a UPS text scam, you can protect your data by taking these steps:

  • Log into your UPS account and immediately change your password.
  • Block the number that sent the fake text message and take a screenshot of the message.
  • Send the screenshot and all relevant information to UPS at fraud@ups.com

Could a UPS Delivery Failure Notice Be a Scam?

It frequently is. To verify any delivery problems and find out what to do next, sign into your account or enter your tracking number directly at UPS.com.

Will UPS Contact Recipients By Phone Before Delivering a Package?

Generally, UPS does not contact recipients by phone before delivering packages.

Where Can You Report UPS Text Scams?

You can report to :

Understanding Fake UPS Text Messages Will Keep You Safe

You could be one of the 1 in 3 Americans who have received an unwanted text message. To avoid being a victim of fake UPS messages or other scams, follow preventive measures on official platforms and stay informed about new techniques scammers use to steal personal information and commit fraud. 

Join our community, Cryptoscam Defense Network, where we share information and tips to keep you up to date and help you detect and avoid fraud and scams. 

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