Don’t Fall For The ‘Missed Delivery Notice’ Email Scam This Holiday Season

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If you’re like everyone else you know, you’ve probably been doing — or plan to do — a bit of online holiday shopping this year. Missing a delivery could put a serious kink in your day, but don’t let that fear draw you into a scammer’s net.

The “missed delivery notice” or “delivery failure notification” scam is one that the Federal Trade Commission has had its eye on in recent years as online shopping has skyrocketed in popularity.

Here’s how it works: Scammers posing as the USPS, FedEx, UPS email their targets with a notice claiming that they’ve missed a delivery, and will need to enter certain personal details or payment information to get that package redelivered, or click a link to another site for more information.

Don’t do it.

“Here’s the truth: the email is bogus and there is no package,” the FTC says. “And if you download the attachment or click on a link, you’re likely to end up with a virus or malware on your device.”

RELATED: 4 Scams To Avoid During The Holidays

It’s a pretty widespread problem, especially this time of year. In the last month or so, local Better Business Bureaus and authorities around the country have been warning consumers of the scam, including Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, North Carolina, and Texas. Across the pond, the United Kingdom’s Parcel Delivery Service has alerted folks to a similar scheme.

In a related phishing trend, scammers pretend to be Amazon reaching out to customers saying that there’s been a problem processing their order, Pittsburgh’s KDKA reports.

Basically, if you’ve got an email address, you could be a target.

Here are a few suggestions from the FTC on how to spot these bogus emails:

• It tells you to click on a link or download an attachment
• It urges you to take immediate action
• It asks you to “re-confirm” personal or financial information
• If you hover over the link in the email, it won’t show the official website of the supposed sender, like the USPS website.

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