Do you expect the perfect Christmas present to arrive on your doorstep?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in response, is warning consumers to beware during the holiday shopping season.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the FTC warned that scammers are sending fake invoices or shipping messages.
The government warned that these scammers are malicious and have the intent to steal personal information from consumers.
The FTC says that, like many scams of this nature, scammers will send confirmation emails or text messages after the order.
The scammer’s message is almost identical and will trick consumers into clicking on a link.
According to the FTC, scammers may claim that a consumer has missed delivery and ask them to click a link to reschedule delivery. It could also say that an item is ready for shipping but that the consumer must update their shipping preferences.
Some scams make the consumer feel a sense of urgency by stating that if they do not respond immediately, the package will be returned to the sender.
Authorities report that the scammer hopes the victim will click the link and immediately prompt them to input personal information including online bank information, social media accounts, and email addresses.
The FTC warned victims that clicking the link provided by the scammer can also install malware that steals personal information on their phone or computer.
What to do?
Do not click a link, call a phone number, or follow any instructions that you receive.
If you believe the message is legitimate, you can contact the shipping company by using a number or website you know to be real. Do not use any information from the message.
You can check the status of your order by visiting the website where you purchased it.
The FTC stated that it is always important to protect personal information, no matter what time of the year.