A new text scam trying to trick mobile users into handing over their bank account information is circulating across the globe ahead of Christmas.
The scammers involved in the campaigns are apparently masquerading as local mail services, such as RoyalMail in the U.K. and the Australian Post in Australia, according to local news reports.
In pretty much all cases, the scam claims that the recipient has a new iPhone in the process of being delivered to them, U.K.-based publication The Sun reported.
Text claims that users need to confirm their delivery address. But more importantly, it also asks users to input their bank account information in order to pay a fee for “shipping.“
It’s a similar story in Australia, where The Daily Mail reports that users are seeing virtually identical scams. However, some users report being brought to a fake tracking page when clicking on a link within the Australia Post texts.
Both RoyalMail and Australia Post said that they are aware of the scam. They, of course, advise people not to click on any links within the fraudulent text messages or give away any personal information.
While the reports are coming out of the U.K. and Australia, it’s very likely that similar scams could be circulating in the U.S. as well.
And while the scam may seem laughable to many of us, there are probably some people out there who could fall victim to it, particularly as the busy holiday shopping and shipping season is approaching.
The tactic in this specific scam may be unique, but SMS text messages all rely on the same phishing and social engineering techniques.
To help you avoid scams this holiday season, here are a few tips to remember.
- Be wary of unsolicited texts and calls. The best practice is to simply delete the message and directly contact the service or company it claims to be from.
- Don’t give out your info. Be skeptical of any service asks you to input personal information or make a “confirmation” payment.
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. It’s smart not to trust anything that you didn’t buy yourself.
- Track through official means. You likely have pending deliveries and shipments this holiday season. Make sure you track and confirm delivery through a verified medium, like the service’s official website.