The Fedex Text Scam: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself From It

That package you weren't expecting? It's not coming

The Fedex text scam is an attempt to steal your money or personal information. Here's what you need to know to avoid becoming a victim.

What Is the Fedex Text Scam?

Texting scams like this have a name: smishing. This particular type of scam is a variation of the larger package-tracking scam that tries to convince people there is a package on the way and that clicking a link in a quick text will help them track it down and confirm delivery preferences.

Once you click the link, you're encouraged to enter personal information to ensure delivery. Guess who is receiving that information? Not Fedex, of course. It's scammers just salivating at the thought of using your information to steal your money in some way.

How Does the Scam Work?

The scam relies on busy, unsuspecting targets to click text links without much thought. The texts tend to include names to personalize them and lull victims into thinking the message is an official message from Fedex.

A fake Fedex text sent to an unsuspecting recipient.
Nazy Javid/North Coast News

Once a victim clicks the link, they are taken to a scam website where personal information must be entered to 'confirm' details and finalize delivery. Sometimes it involves a fake survey on a fake website made to imitate Fedex's official site.

Once scammers have the personal information requested, they go on their merry way and find ways to separate you from your money in other scams using the information you provided. In some cases, they will go straight to your bank account to transfer monies away from you.

How Do the Fedex Scammers Find Victims?

Thousands of phone numbers and corresponding names are stolen daily in numerous types of scams. Scammers use this lists to send out mass texts in a blanket approach to finding victims.

The texts might include your name but the scammers actually have no idea who you are; your name and phone number are simply among thousands on their list.

How Can I Avoid Getting Involved in This Scam?

You can avoid being scammed by never clicking links in texts from a number you don't know or from a person or place you weren't expecting. Fedex never sends out texts (nor do other package delivery companies), so that's your first clue that you've got a scam in your messages.

Messages about shipments you didn't expect are intended to evoke greed. The scammers hope you're willing to suspend discretion in the hope of an illicit windfall; you can avoid them by simply deleting the text and moving on with your life.

If you respond to one of these texts, you immediately verify that your phone number is active and that there is someone willing to engage. That automatically puts you on their list to send other texting scams to your number.

I'm Already a Victim. What Should I Do?

If you clicked that link and gave your personal information to scammers, remember that it can happen to anyone. Scammers are relying on your embarrassment to keep you from reporting them.

Instead, thwart them by calling your bank and credit card companies immediately so they can prevent fraudulent charges. Also, file a fraud alert with the three major credit bureaus (ExperianTransUnion, and Equifax).

Fedex wants you to tell them about these types of texts so report it to abuse@fedex.com.

If you downloaded software to your phone, run anti-virus and anti-malware programs from trusted sources. There are really good antivirus apps for both Android and even a few antivirus apps for the iPhone.

Once your phone is clean, change your passwords and add two-factor authentication (2FA) to any accounts that offer it.

You can also file a local police report. Your bank and credit card companies might require one as proof you were victimized. You can file separate reports with your local FBI field office and the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant.

Keep records of the texts in case they’re ever needed for a future investigation or court case.

How Do I Avoid Being Targeted in a Texting Scam Like This?

Texting scams like this are based on random (usually stolen) lists, so there's really no way to ever truly avoid becoming a target. There are several things you can do, however, to avoid becoming a victim.

  • When in doubt, don't get involved: Remember, Fedex will never text you about a package. If you're not sure about a message you receive, go directly to Fedex yourself to confirm any communications.
  • Never, ever respond to a suspicious text. Simply delete the message (grab a screenshot if you decide to report it) and block the sender immediately. Do not reply STOP to the number; that only confirms your phone is active and encourages more texts.
  • Don't give out your phone number: Many places online ask for personal details in exchange for setting up various services but avoid entering a phone number if at all possible.
  • Thoughtfully read each text you receive: Smishing attempts rely on victims not paying attention and blindly responding to any message received. Be aware and pay extra attention to texts that don't make sense to you.