As the holidays approach, it’s a common tactic for phishing scammers to send emails claiming to be an alert about an undelivered package. In a slightly different variation of this scam, an email may allege to provide order details regarding a package delivery or an invoice file. By clicking on the provided link or downloading the “invoice,” you’re actually uploading a virus that will phish for your financial and personal information.

These scammers often impersonate well-known shipping vendors, such as USPS and FedEx, or even steal the identities of popular retailers to appear more legitimate and trick unsuspecting consumers. With the chaos of the holidays, scammers realize that people may be more likely to ignore the warning signs of a fake package notice, especially if they are getting a head start on holiday shopping and expecting an actual package delivery.

Your Better Business Bureau suggests the following tips if you receive an email package notice:

Watch out for poor spelling or grammatical errors. Fraudulent emails are often filled with typos and misspellings due to the fact that many of these scams originate from overseas, where the scammer isn’t as familiar with the English language.

Ignore calls for “immediate action.” It’s a common tactic for scammers to claim that they have made multiple attempts to contact you and if you don’t act immediately, it will be too late. Scammers try to convince their victims to react on an emotional basis by creating a false sense of urgency.

Don’t always believe what you see. Just because an email may display a well-known company’s logo or appear to come from a reputable source, it doesn’t always mean that it’s a legitimate notice. Fake email addresses usually have very slight variations from the real ones and it’s easy enough for a scammer to copy and paste a company’s logo into their message.

Don’t be fooled by cleverly labeled links and attachments. A good rule of thumb is to never click on any links or download files from unfamiliar email addresses. Remember that a hyperlink may not actually lead to where it’s claiming to go. By right clicking on it and selecting copy link address, you can paste the link in your computer notepad or somewhere that is not your browser search or address bar to see the link’s true identity.

Receive a package delivery notice and don’t even remember placing an order? It’s likely not legitimate. If you are expecting a delivery and are concerned that there may be a real issue, contact the company directly using verifiable contact information, not information contained in the email in question. To report a scam, visit BBB Scam Stopper.

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