Fake "Parcel Delivery" Text Message: Don't Fall For It!

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If you see this message appear on your phone:

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You may want to ignore it. The reason? It convinces the victim they have a parcel "awaiting delivery", then encourages them to ring an Austrian number. Once connected, an automated system asks the victim to enter their number, but then repeats it back to the victim with numbers intentionally incorrect. At that point, the victim wastes time and effort going round in circles with a system designed to beat them every time.

As you can imagine, that's going to make someone a fair amount of money.

Currently being sent to random people via a long list of disposable mobile phones (that always go to voicemail or an engaged tone if you ring them), this text message says:

!!Urgent!! Large Parcel Awaiting Delivery Please Call Now on +43820899510 For Delivery Tomorrow Regards International Parcel Deliveries

There's not too much information online about this yet, but what we do know is

1) Victim is sent the text message from a disposable mobile phone.
2) The victim is presented with an Austrian phone number to call with regards "delivery".
3) The victim then phones the number and bad things apparently happen to their bill.

Let's take a look at some quotes from people who called the number - I'm going to bold a few sections that confirm the system pretends to get the victims number wrong, and that this could cost you some serious money:

"Coincidentally I was expecting a delivery. I called it but hung up after a couple of minutes. An automated answering service will prompt for you to enter your phone number after that it will repeat it back to you but get the number wrong (usually one of the number wrong i.e '5' instead of '7'), I just hope I hadn't given anything away to this very dubious SMS."

"Got exactly the same text message 4th Oct 19.45pm to ring this Austrian number.  Tried ringing it and it takes you through an automated recording to giving you delivery numbers and taking your mobile number to arrange delivery in the next two days.  Asks for preferred delivery times."

"I stupidly called the number and followed a series of voice prompts to arrange delivery. Cost me almost ?15.00 ($26) on my mobile. I just pray nothing else happens to me or my family because of this. I am normally very aware re scams but my main focus has been on emails, didn't realise you could get scammed via text messages too. Should have known better cos wasn't really expecting any parcels, but as I have a lot of family all over the world thought maybe it was a surprise gift..talk about being had big time!!!"

"I've been had. I called it several times. It asks you to put your mobile number in and then repeats the number incorrectly. I was waiting for a delivery."


A clever tactic, I'm sure you'll agree. Remember, if you're expecting a delivery - never trust random messages sent to your phone, especially if they don't share the name of the company that's delivering your parcel.

Of course, most delivery companies don't use "!!" at the start of their text messages either (though I am told that this is a method used to scroll messages on the front of clam-shell phones, but that's another gimmick altogether...)

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This page contains a single entry by Christopher Boyd published on October 17, 2008 3:39 PM.

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