Money Mondays: Texting Scams You Need to Know About

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Written by Bernie Carr

A few days ago, I received a text that I had to think twice about: “Bernie, your package has been held at the post office since March, respond as soon as possible to claim it by clicking this link.” I’ve received suspicious texts before, like the ones that announce I won a $50 Walmart gift card when I never entered any contest. I block and delete those right away.

I had never received one about a package waiting, except for the real ones from UPS or FedEx when I request delivery texts. But the more I thought about it, the more I was certain this is another scam. First of all, I was not expecting a package. When I do get a text, it’s because I signed up for text alerts, and I never signed up for one with the post office. So I blocked and deleted the text.

Soon after the incident, I found an article from Chron.com that confirmed my suspicions:

“The text messages in question usually claim that a package is pending delivery and requests the recipient to ‘claim ownership’ by providing their credit card and personal information,” the Office of Texas Attorney General stated in a message to Texans.

source: chron.com

What to watch for

These two types of scam texts are one I have seen the last few weeks:

Delivery scam

Delivery scam text messages may contain a realistic looking tracking code. The text may contain your name.

If you click on the link, you get sent to a site that will claim you have won a gift card, but they need you to fill out a form that includes providing your credit card number. Once the scammers have your information, they will use it to steal your identity – open accounts in your name or rack up charges on your credit card.

Census scam

I’ve also received texts claiming to be from the Census Bureau.

You may be the victim of a scam if someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau asks you for certain information.  The Census Bureau never asks for:

your full Social Security number

money or donations

anything on behalf of a political party

your full bank or credit card account numbers

your mother’s maiden name

Source: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/surveyhelp/fraudulent-activity-and-scams.html

What to do

If you receive one of these texts:

  • Do not click on the links.
  • Collect the phone number source and take a screen shot of the message if you are able to.
  • Do not respond to the text, forward it or give any personal information out.
  • Report the scam text to your state’s consumer protection website or the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Block the number.
  • Delete the message.

These scams are getting more sophisticated, and unsuspecting people can easily become victims. Being aware they are out there is the first step so you can protect yourself.


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About the author:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.


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