Top 5 ways to avoid delivery scams ahead of the holidays

Posted at 5:31 AM, Nov 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-17 11:31:23-05

(WXYZ) — When it comes to holiday shopping logistics, consumers have it pretty easy these days. People can order practically anything they want online and have it shipped to their door. But, as you await all of those packages, watch out for scammers, especially when it comes to deliveries or shipping notifications.

So-called 'porch pirates' are always a concern.

"People have seen people taking packages from other people’s porches, unfortunately," Kim Harper of Southfield said. She has received neighborhood alerts about package thefts recently.

Harper also said she's concerned about delivery scams via phishing texts.

"A lot of times you’ll get texts that say, ‘Your order has been delayed' or whatever. 'Click here to check on it.’ I never click on those. I go directly to the site I ordered from," she said.

Melanie Duquesnel, the President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan, encourages people to avoid falling victim to those scams.

I asked her what is the shipping scam that's causing the most concern right now in metro Detroit.

“Package tracking," she replied.

She said scammers will send an email or text posing as a company like UPS or FedEx prompting you to click a link.

“The malware is what they're going for. They want to either disable your computer or figure out your personal information," Duquesnel said.

Another scam is the fake "missed delivery" tag left on your door. Scammers say they have a challenge getting your package to your door. So, they want to reschedule the delivery. They want you to call the number on the tag. But it's really a ruse to get your personal information.

Here are the BBB's top five ways to avoid delivery scams

  1. Don't click on any links or call unknown numbers. Go to your delivery carrier's website directly or call them directly if you have questions.
  2. Get tracking numbers for your purchases and check the shipping progress periodically.
  3. Request a signature. It costs extra, but packages will not be dropped off when you're not there.
  4. Have your package delivered to your workplace or a trusted neighbor.
  5. Open your delivery upon receipt to check for damage or signs of tampering. Contact the seller immediately if something is wrong.

Duquesnel recommends you print out or keep a digital folder of all your invoices so you know exactly what you're waiting to receive. Remember, major shipping services will never ask you for credit card information to get your package delivered.

If you think you've been a victim of a crime, call the police to report it. Also, report it to the BBB's Scam Tracker website.