Consumer Alert: Scammers target online shoppers, college students with waiting package scam

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HONOLULU (KHON2) – As more people turn to online shopping during the Coronavirus pandemic, scammers are taking advantage of those orders.

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The Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau have a warning about a new phishing scam.

The BBB says the scam is coming in text message form saying the recipient has a package waiting for them from months ago.

“The message itself is vague,” said Roseann Freitas, Better Business Bureau Marketplace Manger. “It doesn’t really say where the package is coming from and you don’t really remember ordering from them. All of those are signs that it is a scam.”

In some cases, scammers are specifically targeting college students specifically.

“So some of that is saying it was from packages delivered back in the spring when they weren’t in school. So again, they’re trying to take advantage of the situation and trying to get them to click on the link.”

Whatever the message is, the rule remains the same. Never click on any unknown links.

“You never know where that link may take you to. It may take you to a site that says, ‘you need to pay additional money.’ Again, you just don’t know where you’re going, but you really have to worry about identity theft on these.”

The BBB says, if the message seems legitimate, contact the company directly.

“Pick up the phone and call them or if you did order something, go directly to your separate browser. You’ve ordered it, you have an account with that company. So go into your account and see what’s going on, because usually you can track it from there.”

For those who received a phishing text, the FTC says forward it to SPAM or 7726.

Consumers can also report a scam to the BBB Scam Tracker.

For more information about the waiting package scam, click here.

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