Scammers are aware more and more of us are relying on delivery services to bring our purchases right to the doorstep. The Better Business Bureau says they're using our delivery anticipation to their advantage using text messages to steal personal information.

There are three scams at work:

1. You receive a text message or email with a link saying a major delivery service like UPS or FedEx needs you to update delivery preferences before they can drop off a package.  The link contains a form seeking personal information.

2. Similar to scam one, this text or email contains a supposed tracking link, again the link will contain a form seeking personal information or will download malware onto your computer.

3. This is scam is a bit bolder, scammers place fake "missed delivery" tags on your door. The note asks you to call a phone number to reschedule the delivery, in reality it's just another scam to get your personal information.

Of course you can add the theft of delivered packages from your doorstep to the list of scams involving package delivery. While in the past these scams are most prevalent during the holidays, they have recently been growing in frequency.

The Better Business Bureau off these tips to avoid delivery scams:

  • Purchase shipping insurance if your having valuable or fragile items delivered. Use tracking numbers for your purchases and check the shipping progress periodically.
  • Be wary of texts, calls, or emails about a missed delivery. Legitimate services usually leave a "missed delivery" notice on your door. If you receive a notice, scrutinize the form to make sure it is authentic and only then follow their instructions.
  • Keep track of what you've ordered, so you have a better idea of what is coming and when. Don't click on any links; go to the delivery carrier's website directly, or log in and use the retailer's tracking tools.
  • Request a signature. Chances are this feature may come with a price tag, but it may be worth the extra fee. Requesting a signature means that a delivery service won't be able to drop a package on your doorstep unless someone is around to sign for it.
  • Don't leave packages sitting on your doorstep. Ensure safe delivery by having packages delivered to your workplace, a friend, or neighbor.
  • Open packages as soon as possible after delivery to check for damage or signs of tampering. Contact the seller immediately if you believe something is wrong with the shipment or if it's not what you ordered.

To learn more about how to avoid scams, visit BBB.org/AvoidScams. If you've been the victim of a delivery scam, please report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim to similar scams.

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