Warning: Fake package notification could be dangerous malware

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FedEx scam
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With more and more of our shopping being done online and packages being delivered to our homes, there’s an old scam you need to be on the lookout for!

The U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx all have warnings out customers about fake delivery notification emails that could give your computer a malicious virus if you’re not careful.

What the delivery notification scam looks like

Here’s how it works: Scammers send fake emails with subject lines containing text that says something like “USPS Delivery Failure Notification.” The emails claim to be from the U.S. Postal Service or one of the other delivery services and contain fraudulent information about an attempted package delivery. The emails instruct the recipient to click on a link for more information regarding how and when to get their package delivered.

Here’s an example of language used in this type of email scam:

USPS.COM
Notification
Your parcel has arrived at [date]. Courier was unable to deliver the parcel to you.

Print your label and show it in the nearest post office to get a parcel (link).

Do not click any of the links in these emails!

Clicking on the links can cause a variety of problems — the worst being that it can activate a virus, allowing the scammers to steal any personal information stored on your device, including usernames, passwords and other sensitive information tied your financial accounts.

If your device is infected with some type of malicious software, you typically have no idea it’s there. When you go to sign in to an account that contains your banking or other sensitive information, the criminals use a program to capture your keystrokes — recording any and every piece of info about you that they can use.

The biggest problem for consumers is that the scammers make these types of emails look almost identical to official notifications from the real shippers — using legitimate-looking email addresses and even official logos.

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How to protect yourself from the scam

There are several ways to avoid become a victim of this scam and others like it:

  • If you receive an email you weren’t expecting, do not click on any links inside the email. Even if you are expecting a package, do not click on any links in an email notification. Go to the company’s website directly to get your delivery information.
  • Look out for grammar and spelling errors: Scam emails often contain typos and other errors — which is a big red flag that it probably didn’t come from a legitimate source.
  • Never respond to a text message from a number you don’t recognize
  • Be cautious of any notification from an “automated message system” that says “Click on this link for details.”
  • If you receive a scam email, report it to the company the email purports to be from

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