CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Most people love the convenience of shopping online and having them shipped right to their doorstep. But with the millions of packages that get delivered each year, con artists and schemers have developed ways to steal from shoppers, especially during the holiday season.

Some people have recently been getting text messages saying a major delivery carrier needs them to “update delivery preferences” on a package by clicking on a link, according to a news release sent to 22News from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The text is a scam, however, and the link results in the theft of personal information. Chicopee, Sturbridge, and Easthampton Police Departments have been warning residents about this scheme as well.

There are other schemes going around, especially during the holiday season. Delivery fraud and theft are very popular during the holidays because more and more packages are getting shipped. The first scams to look out for are phishing texts or emails that are posing as official notices from delivery companies. These either contain a “tracking link,” which is a message that the shipper is having difficulty delivering a package to you, or, a link to update delivery preferences. 

Another delivery fraud has fake “missed delivery” tags. Schemers place a note on your door that claims they are having difficulty delivering your package to you. Then they ask you to call a phone number to reschedule your delivery, but it’s really about getting your personal information.

The BBB offers these tips to help you avoid delivery scams:

  • Take precautions to ensure a safe delivery: If you are having a valuable or fragile item delivered to your home, purchase shipping insurance. In addition, always get tracking numbers for your purchases and check the shipping progress periodically.
  • Watch out for texts, calls, or emails about a missed delivery. Legitimate delivery services usually leave a “missed delivery” notice on your door. If you receive a missed delivery notice, examine the form carefully 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. Packages left sitting outside are particularly vulnerable to theft. To ensure safe delivery, have your package delivered to your workplace or to a trusted friend or neighbor who will be home to accept delivery. Some delivery companies now have lockers where your packages can securely wait for you to pick them up using a one-time code to open the locker.
  • Open your delivery upon receipt to check for damage or signs of tampering. Contact the seller immediately if you believe something is wrong with the shipment or it’s not what you ordered. Also, be sure to review the seller’s return policy for damaged or unwanted items.