Thursday, June 7, 2012

US Postal Service Spam Alert - What to Do About Suspicious Undeliverable Package Emails


It's an unfortunate reality. Technology is great, but there is also a dark side. Cyber crime is all too common these days and there is definitely no shortage of spam schemes and other types of fraudulent online behaviors that are currently targeting consumers. This post is an effort to do my small part to help fight the criminal email activity that plagues us all in general as well as to give readers ideas on what to do specifically if you encounter the emails currently going around that are being sent by imposters of the U.S. Post Office.

This is a true story. Today a very fishy email arrived in my mailbox that said "From U.S. Postal Service" in the email's sender field including a very convincing email address that directed me to click on the .rar attachment for details on what turned out to be a fictitious undeliverable package addressed to me. 

This email I got listed a phony tracking number that I checked out not by clicking on anything within the email but by opening a new window and going directly to the legitimate site which is run by the United States Postal Service. In an attempt to motivate me to download the aforementioned .rar attachment it even included an obviously idle threat to charge me $12.25 per day if I didn't claim the package after 30 days just for them to "keep" my non-existent package. 

Good thing I didn't fall for this guise. Neither should you.

What to Do
If you do receive a suspicious email similar to the one that I received which looks like it might be about a U.S. Mail package delivery problem, stop and think before acting. There's a good chance it could actually be spam, phishing for your personal identification or a harmful virus that's about to invade your computer

Steps to protect your computer, yourself, family & others
  • DON'T click on any link within the email or download attachments.  That's because it's likely that this is not really from the U.S. Post Office.
  • Forward the email immediately to or call 800 ASK USPS to report it.
  • Share this post on Twitter and Facebook with this link
For more information on combating fake emails involving personal and business deliveries from the U.S. Postal Service visit USPS Customer Service.

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