As online shopping spikes beware of online delivery text SMS scams

With online shopping booming, many consumers have continued to shop online even though physical retail outlets have opened up again. Unfortunately the increase in online shopping has also brought with it a wave of online shopping delivery scams – including SMS text scams.

How do these scams work?

We are seeing a concerning rise in the number of people being targeted by SMS message delivery scams. Thousands of people across the country are receiving scam SMS delivery text messages telling them to click on the link to confirm or change their delivery.

Many of them are purporting to come from Australia Post. Given most people are shopping online the messages appear genuine, but they are not. When you click through the link it encourages you to provide personal information or even worse, your financial information.

We are seeing lots of situations where consumers are falling for these scam tricks and clicking on the links. The scammers are able to extract enough information from people to take over their bank accounts, phone accounts, and even take out loans in their name.

How to avoid getting scammed by SMS fraudsters?

Here are a few ways to stay clear to SMS Scams;

Do not click on any SMS links

It may seem obvious, but do not click on any SMS messages with links about delivery information. Even if the message says that is has come from Australia Post, the majority of these messages are scams. Scammers use clever tricks to lull you into thinking that the message is from a reputable organisation like Australia Post, when in fact it is not.

Check with the retailer

While some retailers and logistics companies like B dynamic do send delivery SMS messages, these will only be sent to you if you have nominated in your online order that you would like to be alerted via SMS of your shopping delivery progress. Check with the retailer or the delivery company to ensure the SMS message is genuine. Clarify the sender’s phone number.

Once you know it is authentic, save the number in your phone. This way you will know that any messages received from this number are safe to open in the future.

Block and report suspect SMS messages

Block and report any suspect SMS messages. You can also alert the government agency responsible for addressing and responding to SMS scams. Simply forward the SMS or MMS spam to 0429 999 888. Standard message charges apply. Forward email spam to report@submit.spam.acma.gov.au. Don’t change the subject line or add any text.

Many people don’t even realise they have been scammed. Many scams are so slick that you don’t even know you have given your personal information to a scammer. Many people only find out much later when their emails, bank accounts or phone accounts are hijacked.

As a firm that provides logistics and parcel delivery services for many of the world’s largest retailers across Australia, we are constantly on alert investing resources in our ecommerce and delivery systems to reduce the capacity for scammers to take advantage of shoppers.

While we are making good headway, it is vital for consumers to be vigilant and to pick up the phone and make a call if they have any concerns at all. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Jam Pathirana is the CEO and founder of B dynamic, an industry-leading enabler of eRetail and provision of third-party logistics services.