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Indianapolis man sends out warning about fake FedEx 'smishing' attempt

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indianapolis man says he nearly fell for a scam that is sweeping the nation and he wants more people to watch out for it.

Josh York first reported about the scam on CBS4's Facebook page, saying he wanted to alert people to stop them from losing money. He told CBS4 Problem Solvers that he's gotten pretty good at spotting a scam, to the point where he rarely answers his phone anymore for a number he doesn't recognize.

"I’m really glad that I’ve learned how to catch these guys," York said.

This time, though, York says he got a text message instead of a phone call. The text gave a supposed FedEx tracking number and urged York to click on a link to pick his "delivery preferences." The problem? York never ordered anything.

"I kind of did think it was suspicious," York said.

York didn't click on the link. Instead, he went directly to FedEx's website and put in the tracking number, which he found out didn't exist. He followed that up with a call to FedEx customer service to be sure.

"(They asked), 'Does the tracking number they gave you start with a GB?' I said, 'Yes, it does,' and they said, 'That's a scam,'" York said.

FedEx issued an alert about the scam last week, urging consumers to report it to them. According to CBS News, people across the country reported receiving the same text message as York. If you click the link, it takes you to a fake Amazon page that asks for your credit card number.

According to Consumer Reports, text message scams known as "smishing," which combines the terms "phishing" and "SMS" for text message, are on the rise.

York, who is blind and uses voice controls on his phone, said he was glad that he went with his gut and didn't trust the text.

"The more people that can become aware of this sort of thing, the less likely that they’ll fall for it and these scammers can’t make an extra dollar by being disobedient to the law," York said.

If you have a tip to report or problem you'd like us to consider, contact the CBS4 Problem Solvers at 317-677-1544 or ProblemSolvers@cbs4indy.com.

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