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12 Scams of Christmas, Day 2: fake shipping notifications

Posted at 11:26 AM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 12:26:23-05

TULSA, Okla. — With many of us shopping online for the holidays, we're expecting packages to be delivered.

So if you receive an email with information about an order, you might not think twice before clicking the link.

But as 2 News Oklahoma Problems Solvers discovered, that link could be a gateway to your personal information and passwords.

As online sales grow, especially during the holidays, so does the opportunity for scammers to send phishing emails and texts.

It takes just one click and you could be handing over passwords and access to your personal accounts.

This time of year, our inboxes are flooded with holiday deals and promotions.

Just ask Elizabeth from Owasso.

She tells us, "I'm expecting several deliveries for my grandchildren's Christmas gifts. I thought I was being notified about one of those deliveries. But the day after I opened a link, I noticed about $150 was taken out of my bank account. It was all the money I had in there at the time."

The Better Business Bureau says Elizabeth is just one of a multitude of scam targets dealing with fake delivery notifications.

"It might be your item is delayed that's going to cause alarm, it's on its way that causes hope so we have a tendency to want to look at this information."

While the logo is real, the email is fake. The sender is hoping you instinctively click the link.

"The link will take you to a fake website requesting personal identifying information or the link can release malware into your phone or computer."

Experts say they've seen an increase in text message scams as online sales surge. Again, they provide just enough to make you believe it's from a real shipping carrier as a way to reel you in.

"That malware is designed to capture your personal information like passwords through keystrokes."

An easy way to avoid temptation is to keep a folder in your inbox just for order and tracking information.

"Move it over there and if you get a notification of shipping that tells you your order's delayed or something verify did you really order something that's going to be delivered from that particular shipping handling entity and verify that it is true and look at the tracking numbers that's critical."

Other giveaways include poor grammar or spelling errors.

If you receive one of these emails, you can forward it to USPS, Amazon, or even UPS to investigate.

Just don't click on it and fall victim.

A lesson Elizabeth learned the hard way, yet she's thankful she didn't lose even more money to those scammers.

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