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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 or call 1-800-ASK-USPS.

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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

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.

January 05, 2020

In reply to by Lein

Hi. Did you already received your package from Zippy? I have also received emails from them and calls that my package is already arrived in coron, palawan.
January 17, 2020

In reply to by Lein

It is on same courier where my consignment is located today. They will tell me to pay the amoubt and when I send the payment to them they no longer notify me.
January 30, 2020

In reply to by Lein

Hi, the same company e mailed to me zippy courier express services. So did you pay the amount? Did they deliver your consignment? Wondering if this is scam .
September 15, 2020

In reply to by Rheam

Hi,where you able to get your package with out paying?
I am pretty
December 16, 2019
A friend sent a package with money in it. And i got an email from the shipping company that says the package was on hold in Turkey sunce they found out that there is money in the package. The shipping company is asking me to pay $3,800 to secure clear bill certificates and other documents for the release of the package and be delivered to me. However, they sent me the personal bank account of the agent where I should send the payment. I am skeptical to send the payment to a personal account. Is this a possible scam? Thanks.
FTC Staff
December 23, 2019

In reply to by I am pretty

This sounds like a scam. This is how the scam usually works:

A scammer makes friends with you, and asks you to accept a package of something valuable, like cash. Then, you're told you must pay a customs charge, tax or other fee to release the package. The scammer urges you to pay.

But really, there is no package of cash. The scammer is cooperating with the fake "customs officer" or bank. If you deposit money into that bank account, the scammer will get it. You will lose the money. There isn't any package of cash coming to you.

December 16, 2019
I just received an email today saying that I need to pay 12000hkd for clearance and overweight not sure if it a scam
December 16, 2019
A online friend said he want to sent me a gift and he just said I need I need to pay a fee when it get to Hong Kong and I just received an email today saying that I need to pay 12000hkd for clearance and overweight not sure if it a scam ? Please
Recreational s…
December 18, 2019
Just got a text message from "Ashley from postal service". Apparently I have a package to pick up by tomorrow before the postal service closes for the holiday. I don't know what holiday is on December 20th but whatever. Instead of clicking on the link Ashley was nice enough to leave for me in the text, I decided to text her back. I plan on messing with this idiot for as long as possible.
Cherry Pie Sandoval
December 19, 2019
Hello good day,can i ask andc clarify its true or scam because my foreigner he said he send me a parcel thru uk based of excellent courier,they email wd me and they said my parcel reached in and its hold in custom because of tax and clearance fee and i give a cash out for 15,700 then i called the agent excellent and she said is in the process but i still trace thru tracking num.i saw it that its hold in custom and the status is still there eventhough i paid already on agent.It is scam?thank you
Reigen Mae Pimentel
August 17, 2020

In reply to by Cherry Pie Sandoval

Hi! I have the same situation as you. I have already paid worth $700 for shipping fee and now their asking for another $700 for custom fee, currently right ow my package is in hongkong, they gave me a tracking number and the site where to track the package. Is it a scam?
December 19, 2019
I had a friend on my social media Facebook me and him has been chatting for a while this December he told me he was gone send something to me a mack pro air laptop and an iPhone 7plus he did show me the receipt and all the required documents he got while he was buying those items we hen he finally finished I asked when he wanted to send it he told me the next day and even promise to add a thousand USD. I felt happy all this while he didn't ask me for anything in return when I went to abuja on the notification the emirates customer care gave me but when I got there the customer care people told me it was all a scam without even checking anything on there system . my question is if it was truly a scam why didn't he the friend of mine ask me for money or like to pay for delivery some of this can be real but most of the workers in that airport may be corrupt I told the person and his working on it to retrieve back what he sent
December 19, 2019
Please i want to know if a package sending from cuba through carlton courier express needs a shipment fee? Because i get a package from cuba to this company but asking a 1500USdollars to ship. Showing box also and informations.
December 21, 2019
I'm so worried I have a package came from London sending by someone. But the package was hold now on the custom of the charges that cost 32,750. The custom hold it because the package is confidential So the sender got angry with me he accused me of money laundering. How can I handle this kind of situation. The sender is my chatmate.and I didn't ask him to send me that package but he insist it. We are in good term but he is angry with because of that package.
FTC Staff
December 23, 2019

In reply to by emz23

This story about "customs charges" sounds like a scam. You do not need to pay any "charges."

Some scammers make friends online, and ask the friend to receive a package. The scammer says the package has confidential items, or gold or jewelry.

But then, the friend learns she must pay customs charges, or taxes or other fees to get the package. The scammer tells the friend to pay the "customs officer."  But really, there is no package. The scammer is cooperating with the fake "customs officer." When the friend pays the "customs officer," the scammer will get that money.

Karen joy Tumbali
August 30, 2020

In reply to by emz23

We are in the same situation, maam, I also sent someone fRom london, he is angry with me, why did he not receive your parcel there until now .. I will nail them, they will charge me 35 thousand pesos ... they just called me to say I would pay something
November 05, 2020

In reply to by emz23

Same situation. A friend of mine sent me a package now. I dont want to sent it to me but he insist.. Now the express courier sent me a mail. Saying i need to pay the delivery agent once the package arrive here in bohol philippines.. I dont know what to do.. I dont have money if ever it will happend..
FTC Staff
October 27, 2020

In reply to by Sossy.mai

This sounds like a scam. The scam can start when you meet someone online. They offer to send you a gift or package. But when the package arrives, a company says must pay a fee or taxes to get the package.

But the courier service is a fake. The person you are chatting with online online is working with the fake courier service. They are trying to get your money. If you pay, they will take your money. There is no package for you. This is a scam to get your money. You don't have to pay. 

December 21, 2019
I think he is a scammer he want me to put into trouble. How can I solve this cause my information was given to him because of that package. Help me please to solve this problem.thanks.
February 28, 2020

In reply to by emz23

Hi I have also a concern there someone also send me a package throught fast post shipping. com and even a tracking number is there and I tried it .Isnt legit ?Please help me for my safety what should I do to make me safe He has already my info.Thank you
February 28, 2020
I need help.. I wanna ask if this is a scam ? my package was not yet delivered until now someone who texted me asking money 17, 500 for VAT/TAX CLEARANCE FEE I paid already deposit in the bank account ,after that he asking money again 45 000 for fine charges for money charge inside the box which is detecting for screening department he said after we paid the 45 000 he delivered by asap then the other day no package arrive in my destination, i am texting for if where is my package he said in reply that the lawyer who is supposed to sign the documents,he is requesting a sum of 95 000 the one who protect u for the case for future reference and to clear my name and my husband name for money laundering case , he said we are in blacklisted both and imprisonment if i not mad the payment 95 000 peso... is it a scam / ? please i need help i am scared and so worried about the package .....IS THIS A SCAM?
FTC Staff
February 28, 2020

In reply to by alijahmontes011

Yes, this could be a scam. Some scams start when you meet a person online. They promise to send you a package. But when the package arrives, the courier says you must pay a fee for tax or clearance. 

When the scam happens, there is no package. The person online is working with the fake courier service to take your money. If you pay one time, they ask for more money. You can stop talking to the courier. You can block the person online. You can report the person to the website. 

December 30, 2019
Please help what should i do to my package, my giancee got angry now because from 20 until now, the pqvkage still cannot recieve
January 03, 2020
I have received a some what similar email but from "Samsung Electronics company" which informs me that I'm a prize winner for their annual mobile promotion, they asked for my details excluding bank details and they proposed two options for me to receive my package either through courier services or direct collection at their office in the United states. I chose the courier delivery option and they further on gave me two options of delivery which in turn I had to pay mailing fees, vats and insurance on all of them. Below is the first option Delivery Options A: Free Way Courier (Delivery takes 96 hours) Mailing $200.00 Insurance $70.00 VAT (5%) $30.00 TOTAL $300.00 US Dollar which is equivalent to 4,300.00 Zambian Kwacha Is this a scam?
FTC Staff
March 09, 2020

In reply to by Halo

This sounds like a scam.

If someone says you won a prize, but they want you to send money first, that is a usually a scam. They tell you to pay "fees" and "taxes" to get a prize. But really, after you send money, you will not get a prize. This is just a scam to get your money. 

Also, do not give your bank account information to someone you don't know. They might say they will deposit money, but they can also take your money. If you really won a prize, they can send you a check or find another way to deliver your prize.


January 06, 2020
I met someone online who said he's from California. He said he's a contractor and flew out to do a job. After he got to his job site, he said there was a problem with his bank account and that in order for him to get his pay he was making me his trustee and sending money to my address. I didn't feel comfortable about any of it. Then I got an email from Expressfastdelivery yahoo email saying that they would deliver it at my address and that any custom fees would be paid by me. I later got an email saying the parcel arrived at LaGuardia airport and that I would have to pay $3,000.00 before the package would be delivered.
May 17, 2020

In reply to by bates60

I was befriended by a man from CA. Through Fitbit. We talked for 2weeks and he flew to Paris for work. He said he sent me a package from Paris via Dominican express. I was given a site and tracking number. The company text me that I had to pay a fee of $2210 for delivery. I told them ....return to sender. They then offered me a discount. I still said no. They said they would cancel. I never heard from the guy again.
January 10, 2020
Hello,is union trust global logistics services is legit?i have a ftuend i met online we are chatting each other then one day he asked my complete details for him to send his gifts for me then last day he called me through phone that he already send the package and he also give me the websiiite of the air cargo together with the tracking number,then last day 01/082020 the logistics send me an email saying please check the present location of your items 3 tumes i track through the tracking number they gave their i found out it arrived here last January 8 @ around 10:38 am so i called the contact number of the logistics the clearing officer tole me that my items could not be delivered coz i need to pay the administrative charge which is 24200 php before they will deliver to me door to door as what they consignment agreement.could you please help me regarding this matter if it is a scam?though they call me i was the one calling them and that is what they said to ke...please i need your help
FTC Staff
February 28, 2020

In reply to by Hello

This could be a scam. Some scams start when you meet a person online. They promise to send you a gift. But when the package arrives, the courier says you must pay a fee for tax or clearance. 

When the scam happens, there really is no package. The courier serivce is fake too. The person online is working with the fake courier service to take your money. If you pay one time, they ask for more money. You can stop talking to the courier. You can block the person online. You can report the person to the online site where you met.

Nicole gica
August 26, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

We're same situation Hahahahha my god . But i dont send money But please this is hes email he use also about douglades@ The package is still the cargo i still track those package he telling me hahahha Something fishhy he very good in terms how he get my attention Hahahah
September 03, 2020

In reply to by Nicole gica

Same situation and joe dough is currently waiting for me at airport for custom duty clearance hehehe. I said to him that i dont have money and you can return that box to the party in london. Guys we have address and number of the person who send gift to me from london. So funny
May 21, 2020

In reply to by Hello

Same experience. I met a guy from dating site and after less than a month,he told me that He bought some items for me.I didnt asked him to buy it but He insisted.And He sent it through Union Trust Global Services.It's valuable gadgets with money to rent a condo when he arrive here to visit me.The courrier even emailed me the tracking number and notify me the location of the package.Then when the package arrived here in PH.They asked me to pay administrative charge through Palawan express worth P24,200 so they will deliver it.I sent the money and the next day when i follow up,they said it was scheduled for scanning and delivery that day.but message me later that they found a huge amount of money inside and I need to settle it and pay 65,000 or else they will confiscate it and charge me for money laundering and blacklist the guy who sent it to me.I am thinking that it was all scam and that guy i met online is Fraud..So sad that i paid already.I just borrowed that money.Anyone can advise me what to do please.
August 27, 2020


Oh my good we’re same I send money also like 95,000 peso now I don’t know how to tell to my family about this guy we can complain so will never happen again
August 27, 2020


Guys we should to report this all scammer
September 01, 2020


Same thing happened to me. I already lose 11000$ but im still talking to this guy. He is acting like he was used by shipping company. The package was hold in Turkey and there was turkish accounts for payments.
Broken Hearted
October 22, 2020

In reply to by Bamboleo

I think you and I got scammed by the same guy and now I am left Heart Broken
Sheila bayola
September 03, 2020

In reply to by bless

Same here now my situation still the package is on the MEGA FAST COURRIER in 3 days .which I s the guy from UK send me a gift he told me have a 18,000 dollars inside that box chocolates gold ring. But the cargo shipping said that I need to pay 16,000 pesos after they delever here my house im so worried and still not sending money for them bcos I'm scared that maybe this is scam!.. so please I need to those who can advise me for what I do? Sinu really send them to pay that charges which is they told me or no? I asking already to send me the pictures of the package and yes! They already send me a pictures it's a big box and have name of sender and also a name of receiver which is thats my name and my complete address too ..I was so afraid now to send a money for them .please help me advise guys what should I do thanks God blessed us
September 07, 2020

In reply to by Sheila bayola

Same experience here..said i have to pay 15,750 pesos bec the package was holded by the this a scam?omg
September 12, 2020

In reply to by Sheila bayola

Hello mam me i know that person who send you a package because we are in same situation.megafást courier
Honey ko
October 07, 2020

In reply to by Ladypink

Same situation.. His name is Robert Noah mark.. He say to me that he is working to royal navy..we chatting here in email... He always send me sweets mssges. After few days he say that he buy gift for me.. And already send it after get my information.. After 3days the parcel already arrive. .but the company cargo mssge me that I need to pay 16000 before they delivered my parcel at my address.... But I didn't send money for them.. After that robert not mssge me anymore... Maybe he already know that he is scammer.
November 22, 2020

In reply to by Honey ko

Do you have his photo? I'm just worried because i have met someone in whatsapp.. Just like you he will send me Packages.. But it's so suspecious.
September 21, 2020

In reply to by Sheila bayola

Now I know this is really scam...My sister has the same exact situation..She met a guy from an online dating site.. The Guy's from UK, he sent her an email, stating that he sent her a gift (gucci watch, an engagement ring, perfume and chocolate) and there's an $18,000 cash...through MEGA FAST COURIER SERVICES. He gave my sister a link on that courier website and when you track the package with that tracking number it will show the sender and receiver's name and the receiver's address and will show a progress of the package moving..then she got an email and a text message from the courier's representative advising her that her package has arrived and it's being held in custom and she needs to pay 16,000 Pesos for the local tax clearance which she need's to send through Cebuana..I asked my sister to tell that guy that she don't have that big money to pay for the custom clearance...the guy told her that there's no way for him to send money since he's in the middle if the ocean..and told her to get in touch with the courier and maybe she can borrow money from someone to pay the custom tax to release the package..just pay once she get the packeg..cause he won't be at ease until my sister have the package. something's sketchy about it...So I inquire one of my friend from custom regarding the process about packages being held in custom..and explained her my sister's situation...She said it's looks scam....She said my sister should ask to settle amount personally through custom and just pick up the package from the warehouse...Plus the name of the representative from the text message and the person's name where you need send the money is different..
September 30, 2020

In reply to by Sheila bayola

It's a scam. MEGA FAST COURIER SERVICES website was made by the scammers. Don't pay. You and my mom has the same story Sheila. Be safe.
October 04, 2020

In reply to by Sheila bayola

Same mam..but i dont know if scam..bcouse say said 2days or 3 working days i rceive the mega past..this is it scam..but my details igive and work address and phone no..