Package delivery scam targets residents in Mississauga and across Ontario

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Published December 19, 2023 at 10:06 am

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Photo: Bibhash Banerjee

As Christmas quickly approaches, shoppers may be anxiously awaiting that last package delivery  — but watch out for scammers.

The package delivery scam is circulating in Mississauga and across Ontario.

The fraud starts with a message — either by text or email — telling the recipient their package cannot be delivered or is delayed for some reason.

The Better Business Bureau warns this would be a package delivery scam.

“The USPS package has arrived at the warehouse and cannot be delivered due to incomplete address information,” one example scam text reads from the Better Business Bureau.

The scammer will then ask for personal details such as your name, address, and possibly even your credit card information.

If you aren’t expecting a package, the fraudster may try to convince you the package is a gift from a friend or relative, the Better Business Bureau notes.

There are several variations of this type of “phishing” scam where fraudsters are attempting to get personal information or install malware on your device, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

“The message may seem to be a receipt from a recent purchase, a delivery notification, or something more urgent, such as a notice to appear in court,” the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre notes. “If you click on the link or attachment, your computer is infected with a virus or malware.”

The message circulating now notifies the recipient that their shipment has been processed in Canada, which could fool a person waiting for a package from the U.S.

The message then tells the person the package is on hold and suggests they click a link for more information.

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The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers these tips to avoid scams:

  • Don’t click on links from unsolicited messages
  • Don’t download attachments from unsolicited messages
  • Watch for spelling mistakes
  • Don’t trust a message just because the email address looks legitimate; fraudsters can spoof the address
  • Beware of messages claiming to be from the Government of Canada or a law enforcement agency; they will never contact you to offer funds via email or e-transfer

For more information and to report a suspected scam, see the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website here.

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