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Expecting packages shipped to your home this holiday season? You’re not the only one… scammers are, too.

Did you get a text message with a shipment tracking code and a link to update your delivery preferences? It's a scam. Learn more.

We’ve learned of a phony “delivery failure notification” email making the rounds. It looks like it’s from the U.S. Postal Service — but it’s not. The email says you missed a delivery. But, it says, if you print the attached form and take it to your local post office, you can pick up your package and avoid penalties. The message might also include a link for more details.

Here’s the truth: the email is bogus and there is no package. 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.

Con artists often use the names and logos of familiar organizations to get under your guard. So how do you tell what’s legit and what’s a scam? Here are some ways to spot a bogus email:

  • 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

Another sure sign an email is a scam? If you hover over the link in the email, it won’t show the official website of the supposed sender — in this case, the U.S. Postal Service website.

For more tips, check out our articles on phishing and malware. And if you have questions about a delivery by the U.S. Postal Service, visit usps.com or call 1-800-ASK-USPS.

842 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Kitchie V.
August 03, 2020
Good afternoon, I am expecting a gift from bf. He has sent it with his friend who was able to leave work to be with family. The parcel was sent from Belgium. I have received the tracking number. However they are asking for $4000.00 Canadian to be wired using money gram to Firuz Barakaev in Istanbul Turkey from the Customs and Border Protection authority in United Kingdom. My parcel is not in Turkey. Its in London, England ...does this sound odd? The shipping company starline Express Delivery does not have a toll free number & the email the link to contact them does not work. This is the email I received: This is to notify you that your parcel lacks clearance waiver seal. We were warned tentatively by the cover letter to your package never to allow the package to be opened; as it contains highly sensitive military materials. Meanwhile, the Customs and Border Protection authority in United Kingdom insisted to carry out a compulsory search on all parcel on arrival, except for ones with clearance wavier seals. Once search is conducted and unusual item is found; the parcel will be seized. Military material(s) with no seal can be tagged 'unusual item' for it is often a way used by the terrorists to pass cash and weaponry across borders. Moreover, we have identified your parcel already to the customs as a 'non searchable' consignment and therefore, expect you to get the required seals as soon as possible. Below are the required seals to be procured and its amounts: The Custom Clearance and Duties Seal: $ 1,360 USD Non Inspection Tag: $ 1,510 USD. You are expected to make a total payment of $ 2,870 USD through our account office in Turkey using the following Money Gram information: Name: FIRUZ Surnames: BARAKAEV Location: Istanbul, Turkey. Note: Once payment is confirmed, the requisit seals will be procured and crested on your parcel to excuse it from all routine searches until it gets to your doorstep. Please assist if this is fraud/scam, I have not sent anything also there is no address for the recipient of the funds to confirm identity.
FTC Staff
November 04, 2020

In reply to by Kitchie V.

This sounds like a scam. This can happen when you meet someone online. They offer to send you a gift or package. But when the package arrives, you get a message from an official that says you must pay a fee or taxes to get the package. That's because the person you are chatting with online is cooperating with the fake official. They're working together to get your money. If you pay, they will keep your money, and may ask for more. If you send money by wire transfer, you can't get it back. 

Vilikivi
August 05, 2020
I received a call saying that I have received a courier from USA which is of 20-21 kg and they are asking me to pay rs35000 for that. What do I have to do?
JAK
August 06, 2020
At least once a week i have been receiving texts messages from someone claiming to be FedEx and wanting to make a delivery. For one thing I had not been expecting any type of delivery and also, each text is from a different phone number and they leave a different web address to contact. numbers: 1-347-254-2912 ; 1-929-213-7252; 1-585-365-5659; 1-346-261-5736 to list a few.
Alma
August 07, 2020
Hello I'm here to seek advice I had a boyfriend true online he send package true nippon air cargo then when it reach to philippines they ask me for tax pay 15,700 php after there's money inside the box now they ask me for 40,000 because the costom said..the track # NCA 02179027539156 it is scam or real..
Sheng
August 08, 2020
Hi Just want to ask about this. I ask foreigner some help and he said " My Account have a problem I only need to use is my master card and shopping for you" And then now he said it's already ship. And tell me I need to pay 300usd, just want to make sure is this a scam?
Sara
August 08, 2020
Hello I received an email saying: EXPRESS DELIVERY The delivery could not be made. We are missing some information & pending shipping fees. Shipping number: #CS279003594DE Estimated Delivery: 1-2 days Yes I have bought stuff online and am waiting to receive them however I have paid the shipping fees when I bought the stuff and I searched the shipping number on a world wide shipment tracking website and it says the order was successfully delivered in July. Also in that email it didn’t state what the order is and had none of my details in it. Could this be a scam?
Someone @georgia
August 08, 2020
Yes I reserved a email from a person saying that I have two packages to be delivered that I need to pay $575 to be delivered from Germany via Ría money transfer
AMB
August 09, 2020
i have someone met in facebook i order to him an iphone 11 pro max and give the a downpayment now when the item was about to ship in my location he said that they mispacked my item.. instead of 1 iphone they deliver 3 iphone.. now he said that i need to pay 10,000 for the 2 iphone before it gets to jordan.. because when it gets to jordan if not paid they are going to destroy the item.. He gave me tracking no. and website to track my package.. He said they deliver it using DHL then he gave me a handwritten with a stamp of gurantee and approve.. but the website he gave me was not DHL but continentalexlogs he said that it is service under DHL.. Is this a scam?
Phee
August 09, 2020
I met a friend on Facebook he is in USand he said he is going to sent valuable things,so he said he have sent and I receive an email says I have to pay R1600 my parcel to be delivered and I did after I received another email says during scanning they found huge money inside the package so they need fine for R4000 and I asked the sender if there was money inside and yes was the answer and I paid after I receive another email saying I have to pay R3, 500 for tax and customs so I'm now curious that this is a scam because the sender is just saying just pay because they is a huge money inside the package and at first when I pay they said they will deliver after payment and they never mention about R3, 500,so is this real or it's a scam
cwel
August 10, 2020
I got this email: Dear customer, good day madam, I'm agent from swiftoneexpress and logistics delivery company. I want to inform you that your domestic package have arrived in your country. The package has arrived in Poland from U.S You need to make a payment for clearance fee, overweight charges and delivery charges of ($2000). We will deliver to your address immediately, as soon as we receive the payment. It is scam? I met someone online and he sent package and then I got this e-mail....
Autumnspring
August 14, 2020
Good morning... i have a package send by someone from washington dc... and i recieve a message yesterday that the package is already arrive here in philippine.. but in on hold at the moment because they want me to pay the sub-transport/costums and local delivery cost... 20,000 pesos. Can you please reply... so that i will know what to do... thank you
Sortjem
August 16, 2020
Has anyone every heard of drone express delivery service? They keep asking me to send money for fees and taxes to get a package and before I pay even more I want to be sure it’s not a scam
mickz13
August 19, 2020
im worry about my parcel from us i didnt know if it is scam or not but i cant pay before i get ill just wait to deliever it into my home address without any condition
Brendaganda
August 19, 2020
Can i ask something about my problem now I have a package from mega fast courier I rcve email from that courier they said my package was arrived but I need to pay 16k for my package.. Is it scam
Brendaganda
August 20, 2020
This email is from mega fast and this is the msge from that company is this scam pls. Help me my friend send me a package and he give the tracking no. Of my package now I need to pay 16k pesos for this help me to found out if this scam Greetings to you from MEGA FAST COURIER SERVICES Rep. Good day, Ma'am BrendaLee Lopez, We the representatives of MEGA FAST COURIER SERVICES CARGO, Secure delivery acting as affiliate in charge of shipment around the world. We write to inform you about your Package. your package has arrived in the Philippines , we discovered that the Package with tracking number 975H3597NFAG3 contains a lot of expensive valuables. The necessary legal formalities in exportation, customs duties and taxes, importation charges must be cleared. Be informed that before your box can be released to your address, it is therefore our legal duty to advise that you provide your processing fee of Php16,000. We must confirm your payment first in our email before your box will be delivered to your address immediately. Email: megafastcourier.post@ Best regards, MEGA FAST COURIER TEAM Show quoted text
Rosebuds05
August 20, 2020
Good day Ma'am/Sir I have met someone online,we have constant communication that leads into being more than friends.. This Certain Michael John Steven from United kingdom gave me a tracking number because he said he just send me a package and to able to track it easily. I check it and arrived in mactan cebu international airport. The problem is, the custom (A CERTAIN JOY MOLETA,INTRODUCED AS MEGAFAST REPRESENTATIVE) is asking me to pay for Processing fee of php16,000. I doubted it so i contact you for further confirmation if its legit.. .I hope you can help me as soon as possible. advice me for best way to confirm if its a schemed made by a package scam. Thanks in advance
kaii
August 20, 2020
HELLO MADAM, THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT YOUR PARCEL HAVE ARRIVED AND WAITING FOR DELIVERING. YOU'RE THEREBY REQUIRED TO PAY 20,000 PESOS FOR CUSTOM CLEARANCE FEE. ALL PAYMENT ARE EXPECTED TO PAY DIRECT TO OUR HEAD OFFICE MANGER ACCOUNT. YOUR PARCEL WILL BE DELIVERED TO YOU AS SOON AS YOU MAKE THE PAYMENT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE, UNITED NATIONS DIPLOMATIC COMPANY WILL SERVE YOU BEST. This is the message of the agency this is not a scam?
barb
August 20, 2020
Hello everyone...ever heard of Stanbic Courier Express? Please advise if this is a legit courier company.
Iggi
August 21, 2020
08/20/20 ~ They are still running this scam. I got a “Fed Ex” text last week.
Terrikat50
August 21, 2020
Bottom line, will my package be delivered?
Mary joy 16
August 22, 2020
Please help me.i meet a guy from florida,he send me a package using AGxpress dilevery courier company and he give me also a tracking number.when the package arrive to me place the delivery email me that i need to send them money cuz the package held by custom custody.asking me to send a money to be cleared in custom and after that sending the package in my address..the guy keep on asking me to fix the problem so that i recieve the gift he sent. The guy name was JASON WHITFIELD .. is this legit or scam?
k-lee
September 07, 2020

In reply to by Mary joy 16

It sure seems like a scam. I don't believe that Customs asks for money without a detailed explanation. So, "When in doubt ; Don't" is your safest bet.
S4Cors
August 25, 2020
This scam is back, but now texting my cellphone and leaving messages.
ElleT
August 27, 2020
Just got this today. My daughter yesterday
mrsk102106
August 28, 2020
I got one today from +1 (917) 769-5260
Rose
August 29, 2020
I have a friend online his base in UK rigjt now and he said he is a engineer ..then after a weeks he said he want to send me a gift its valuable he said i refuse it many times then he always told me if i make up my mind then i am thinking and ask him directly,if i ned to pay the package then he said yes and told me again that he paid the shipping fee and he said he want to paid the local charge but the company insist that the receiver will be liable to pay the local charge what that is mean?Is it a scam or is that a policy in UK?and he said also if he cant send the package it will be confescated because in UK is different conpare to other country.Can u help me what kind is this?
Yoyoyoyo
August 23, 2021

In reply to by Rose

Hi Rose! It's been a year about your problem and I have the same situation as yours. Is it really scam or legit? May I ask the guy's name?
T Ricketson
August 29, 2020
Teresa, we came across a package from March owed to you. Please assume ownership and schedule for delivery here: l6svs.info/9SkDcIe2a9 From 1-917-943-6823 Be careful out there there’s a lot of scams going on
Dontgetscammed
August 30, 2020
Received text from 714-746-7343 with following message. *******, we found a parcel from July pending for you. Kindly assume ownership and confirm for delivery here: l6svs.info/9SwnC04lgf
k-lee
September 07, 2020

In reply to by Dontgetscammed

I received this from 714 area code: Aug. 28, 2020 from 714-642-1837: Marcy, we found a parcel from June pending for you. Kindly claim ownership and confirm for delivery here: l4sve.info/o6lynLd8Vw
Haramasmaj
August 31, 2020
Is first trust logistic courier services legit? My friend send me a cargo tru air on Aug.21,2010 and it was arrived in the Philippines in Aug.27,2010.The courier send me an email says i need to pay Php15,550 for tax pay.I payed for it then the next day i received an email again thru NBI that i need to pay Php40,000 for money laundering case because they said there is a big amount of money in my cargo and if i cant comply with the said amount i will go to jail also my friend who is the sender come from California.I paid again.The next day they asked me again the money worth of Php47,800 for legal ducuments etc... but i didn't pay for it.Is this a scam?
Davey T.Don't …
August 31, 2020
I have been Receiving several TEXTS, That The Post Office, Has a Package fir me that was found, Plus, I've a chance to win $500??? Many times I get things that say they've Deposited Thousands of Dollars in my Account but, WHAT ACCOUNT??! THE NUMBER IT CAME FROM IS:#657-360-4232....
lalaland
August 31, 2020
I just got a text message saying that someone had a package that was for me from June. I clicked on the link but then immediately exited out of the application that it sent me to before it started to show up on my phone. I don’t know what to do.
Youmy61
September 01, 2020
Hi ! Please i didn't get my item and they gave me a coupon with 10$ ! Buy i don't want it because the item it cost more than 10$ ! It's your problem if the buyer is a layer so i just want my money back now ! And thanks for no service!
kjeno2002
September 02, 2020
I received an email from phone #657-436-3458 that states: Kathy, urgent alert regarding your USPS shipment G76G7 from 6/1/2020. Click: l8smk.info/GpEfgufdof. It appears to be a scam to me.
Unhappy text r…
September 06, 2020
I been getting these scam texts quite often always the same to get an iPhone 11 for shipping of 19.99. Duh. So sick of it. It seems I cannot block the calls in my text only if they call me then I can block them. It maddens me as they don’t always use the same number. Spoofing off of unassigned numbers by cellular companies. Grrrrrrrr!!!
efren0609
September 06, 2020
I need help because someone is sending me a package when i check the tracking on the site i saw it its on his way. but it says there the parcel is on hold and need to pay 17,500 for the airport taxes before delivery. is it a scam or not? why do i need to pay?
k-lee
September 24, 2020
I keep getting these text messages, all summer, all from different numbers. I First trying to sell me something that I have below zero interest in, then later on about a Delivery of something that I know I did not order. I keep blocking the phone numbers that send these, because I am fairly certain they are some kind of scam, but they keep sending new messages with a different phone number each time. FCC: I would like to report these to the USPS, and if these really are a scam, hope that the Feds can find them and arrest them for use of the USPS in a scam Here are all of the text messages that I have received: 1. July 29, 2020 from 971-329-1654: Marcy, make $1000 a day with this work at home program. Over 375 stay at home women have started using our system this week! insntmny. SlJbNjOwX 2. July 29, 2020 from 657-397-9355: Marcy, make $1000 a day with this work at home program. Over 375 stay at home women have started using our system this week! insntmny. /mSnpfpjOwX 3. Aug. 4, 2020 from 657-397-9280: Marcy, Ellen DeGeneres' new Skin Cream is FREE for women who are 67 years old Erase Wrinkles and take 20 years off your face! el3n. /j41IAM8vCW 4. Aug. 5, 2020 from 917-861-6920: Marcy, Ellen DeGeneres' new Skin Cream is FREE for women who are 67 years old Erase Wrinkles and take 20 years off your face! el3n. /j454I08vCW 5. Aug. 12, 2020 from 661-972-3838: Marcy, Ellen DeGeneres' popular Skin Cream is FREE for women who are 67 years old. Erase Wrinkles and look 20 years younger ellen9. nImN1nipMy 6. Aug. 16, 2020 from 858-722-3118: WOW! Marcy, Angelina Jolie tells her SECRET to losing 78lbs in weeks.Women who are 67 years old get a FREE bottle TODAY! jolie2. /LA1f5AfpCD 7. Aug. 24, 2020 from 607-438-6756 Marcy, we found a parcel from June owed to you. Kindly claim ownership and confirm for delivery here: l1smc.info/i4COxU9lGF ***THIS 7th one is the one that I clicked on the link, because I forgot about all of the previous messages trying to sell me something. Then I realized that it must have been from those people, and I knew that I hadn't ordered anything from them, so I quickly closed down the website before it fully loaded. 8. Aug. 28, 2020 from 714-642-1837: Marcy, we found a parcel from June pending for you. Kindly claim ownership and confirm for delivery here: l4sve. o6lyn Ld8Vw 9. Today, Sept. 7, 2020 from 209-548-1513: (This is where they start involving the USPS) :arcy, important notification for the USPS delivery 5I11L6 from 06/04/2020. Proceed to m5smz. bZVkbLi Thank you for looking into this matter.
FTC Staff
September 24, 2020

In reply to by k-lee

You can report these at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. 

The information you put here on the blog doesn't go into the secure law enforcement database.

Emma Jumamoy
September 08, 2020
Is tbere a safety world delivery logistics service in manila branch? The guy i meet online he said he delivered a package for me in belize through safety world delivery with a ring and money inside.. It will arrive 2 /3 days in the Philippines.. I wonder it already arrive just a day and then someone contact me on email probably the name was the cargo shipment safety world delivery logistics service. They told me that my package already arrived and they found out that there are expensive and valuable materials inside so i need to pay 300$ for the processing fee.. And i did i sent money through gcash here in the Philippines but the package didn't arrive as i expected.. Then after that they email me that they found out that there's money inside so i need to pay the certificate of money laundering worth of 37,500..i strongly believe that this is really a scam.. Am i right?
Michelle Ugalde
September 10, 2020
Hello I received a message from MEGA FAST COURIER that my package arrived in MACTAN CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT but the custum hold my package. Then I receive an email message from the MEGA FAST COURIER to pay the tax clearance 16000 and the laundering money 25000 to release my package. Is this scam???
Beth
September 11, 2020
1st of August, a man started to message in Whatsapp out of blue and advised me that he got my number ages ago. He said he is from the USA. He started be friendly, courting me and really sweet. He makes you fall inlove with him. Last week, he advised me he bought me a gifts on his way home. A guy will call me and i will get an email. I received a text from Diplomat Agent name Steve Ahmed advising me I have to pay VAT on my unclaimed package and it was in italy. Do not believe these scammers. They make you send more and more money. Report to the POLICE!!
Dondon singson
September 12, 2020
Im also experiencing same situation....
K2 flores
September 12, 2020
Hello there.. can someone help me out of it, i recieve mail from the Mega fast courier which my boyfriend send me a package from Florida. And sad to say that the package was already here in philippines but there is a big problem due to the courier is asking the shipment of my package. And i am now wondering if it is a scam or not ,becuase i had the reciept of The package and the tracking number. Please can someone advice me.. thanks.
MrMarshSoCal
September 14, 2020
today, received text message that used my name and said I have package unclaimed since Feburary, click the link below to claim it. Since its September/2020 I assume they would have returned to sender by now. Also, prob would have said who they are. The text came from # 347-216-5841. Beware!!
Anastasia
September 15, 2020
Good Evening ill just ask about my package aNd the naMe of the cargo is standard cargo services.. but i expect already that i have package come coz my bf told me that he already send all items that he mentioned me .. and i ask him if i recieve the items is it all free i dont have any money to pay when its arrived and he say no the company say that i have less than 17,000 .. Soo i tried to reply for the email of the cargo company i ask should i have to pay the package if it arrived here in PH and they say yeS maAm its required for clearance fee aNd i ask them if how much it is and they say its 16,300 exact maam. Soo im asking again when the package is arrive due to door to door that time ill pay for clearance fee . So they say no maam u must pay first for the clearance fee before we delivered you to door to door . . And also first i can track my package but since yesterday until now i cant track it already ..soo is true or scam . ? Kindly reply me coz its really important
FTC Staff
October 27, 2020

In reply to by Anastasia

This sounds like a scam. This is how it might happen. You meet someone online. They offer to send you a gift or package. But when the package arrives, a company suddenly says you must pay a fee or taxes to get the package. The person you are chatting with online is cooperating with the company . They are working together to get your money. If you pay, they will keep your money. They might ask for more money. This sounds like a scam to take your money, and there is no package.

Diam
September 15, 2020
hi.. (9/15/20) anyone who chatted james henry ian? he said hes working as royal navy?? he said he sent me i 2 packages about 45kls but need to pay P17,500 as tax clearance fee??
Blessedrexan
September 15, 2020
I’ve been getting them saying it’s a package