November 18th, 2010
01:39 PM ET

E-mail scam involves fake package delivery problem

The U.S. Postal Service urges consumers not to click on links in suspicious e-mails.

Like a shopping-mall Santa, a familiar scam is making a comeback as the holiday shipping season ramps up.

Watch out for official-looking e-mails that appear to come from package delivery services such as UPS, FedEx or even the U.S. Postal Service, consumer protection advocates warn.

The e-mail says there was a problem delivering a package you either sent or were supposed to receive. It may even include a phony tracking number. The recipient is instructed to open an attachment and fill out an invoice, a claim form or a corrected mailing label.

However, opening the attachment downloads malware or viruses to your computer, the Better Business Bureau warns.

On its website, UPS says it does sometimes send e-mails to customers but rarely do the e-mails include attachments. The company urges customers who doubt the authenticity of a notification to contact

FedEx says it never includes attachments with e-mails containing package-tracking information.

On its anti-fraud page, UPS advises consumers to watch for tell-tale signs an e-mail is fake: poor grammar, misspellings, oddly shaped or sized logos, demands to act immediately and lack of other communication options, such as a telephone.

The Postal Service urges consumers to delete suspicious e-mails and not to click on any attachments or links in them.

"The Postal Inspection Service is aware of the problems and [is] working hard to resolve the issues and shut down the malicious programs," it says in a notice on its website.

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Filed under: Consumer safety • Crime • Technology
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. joy

    be carefull

    November 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. really?

    If you dumb enough to fall for scams like this, losing money may actually help slap you back to reality.

    November 19, 2010 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Doris Bess

    Yes, please E-mail me & let me know if this person was found, if they went to court, & if they had to pay money or receivied jail time. This is for a computer class and I will be naming sources.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve Ball

    The modern world is growing at a rapid pace. 30 years ago, no one even knew what the Internet was, and few people had access to a computer. In todays world the internet technology has revolutionised the way that we spend our time, from internet TV to internet shopping and on-line games. A lot of the shopping we do can be completed online and paid for from the comfort of our own home, and the choice of products and suppliers is endless, we can now place an order with a supplier on the internet, pay for it and have it delivered the next day, Next day parcel delivery from internet shopping has now become a way of life, and is taking over from the traditional high street, with no parking problems and no walking around in the rain,

    With the internet has also come the demise of the "Yellow Pages" no longer do we look in the "Yellow Pages" for services or products, we just go to a search engine like "Google" enter the product or service we require and we get a list of may be 1,000,000 suppliers from all over the world, with each supplier providing us with prices, descriptions and images of the products and giving us a much wider range of choice than we would have had 30 years ago.

    December 27, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |