Beware Of Package Delivery Email Scams

Dated: 12/20/2016

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It's that time of year - the shipping industry's busiest season. With Christmas rapidly approaching, many of us are receiving packages daily. The convenience of online shopping and shipping makes it easy to get your holiday shopping done from home and delivered right to your doorstep. However, the season also brings about a few grinches looking to prey on holiday shoppers.

Holiday phishing is nothing new. It's a multi-billion dollar business. We're dealing with professional scammers that do this for a living. So be wary of anything suspicious. This can especially effect those that have just bought or sold a home. With a new address and issues of forwarding mail, new homeowners can easily fall victim to these types of scams.

When ordering online, you should always get a tracking number that is either through USPS, UPS, FedEx, or Amazon. Keep tabs on your package, know the expected delivery date, and, if you receive any emails about a problem with the delivery of your package, take extra caution.

Watch out for common email subject lines pointed out by USA Today Tech such as:

"We could not deliver your parcel #..."

"Please confirm your DHL shipment"

"Problems with item delivery, #..."

"Delivery Receipt | Confirm Awb no:..."

"Your order is ready to be delivered"

"Courier was unable to deliver Parcel ID"

"Your DHL is here please download attachment to view detail and confirmation of your address"

Some of these email scams contain malware that infects your computer pulling personal and financial information about you that can then be sold. The most harmful of these scams contains ransomware which locks up your computer "[allowing] criminals to send a message demanding payment in untraceable digital currency such as Bitcoin" (Elizabeth Weise, USA Today).

If you do receive such an email, take a closer look before opening or downloading anything. Does it contain your correct package number, your name, or address? What is the email address of the sender? Changes in the email or website links within the email can be as small as adding a few extra letters. For example, becomes Listen to your instincts, if something seems "phishy," don't click.

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Kurt Galitski DRE#01348644

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