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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.

Honey ko no
October 07, 2020

In reply to by Cheryl060288

Really.. We are same situation.. I met him in dating site.. His name Is Robert Noah mark.. He Is frm UK.. And working in royal navy... He always send me sweet mssges then after few days he said that he sent me a gift.. Gold ring, lop top ,iPhone, chocolates and 12000dollars... But I never send money to a recieve a parcel he send it to me
CarlqueenB
December 15, 2021

In reply to by Honey ko no

Hi. Same situation on 15th December 2021,some guy said he is called PERKINS MORGAN, with a profile picture of him and his daughter on whatsaapp, he said he sent me some gifts(rolex watches, shoes, handbags, gold necklaces, gold braceletes, expensive perfume, and 50,000USD,thats like 5 million in my country, after 2 days, a lady calls me saying that she needs me to pay 15,000 as customs duty, i sought for advice and knew it was a scam...
jam
October 27, 2020

In reply to by Sheila bayola

we have the same situation. can you give me also an advice about that. what should i do?the person i chatted with are threatening me if i could pay for the delivery fee immediately. what should i do now?
tess
September 28, 2020

In reply to by bless

same experience but I'm wiser than him...I realized lately that the man is scammer...I did not pay any amount...
Lyn
October 07, 2020

In reply to by bless

I want to.ask if its really scam.i have someone in datnig site from u.s he said hes an army and almost finish his mission and he tell me he will send packge with an important things inside in some usd amount.he give me the company which AER LOSGISTICS and also the trucking #of my package until i recieved call from logistic and emails from customs that they hold the package unless to pay 15,700 for taxes payment through local remetancis then i paid it right away.then saying they will deliverd the package today but i got an email from customs that when scaning they founf out a big amount or currency and its a money laundering which i was scared and costume tell me to settle the problem and need to pay 49,870 for the certificate which i did not pay.you think its truly scam.
Cocolt59
June 28, 2020

In reply to by Jade

Almost same thing, but in my case I met him through social media. And when I confront him he threatens me, he got mad when I didn’t pay any. The fake courier emailed me to pay 750$ for custom services. And send the personal account of someone which I will send my payment. This kind of stuffs must be pay through post office or any custom authority. I immediately went to the police station for a police blotter and also inform someone I knew in NBI.
melissapacris0…
August 14, 2020

In reply to by Cocolt59

Can I ask what happened after you blotter him to the police?
cris
September 14, 2020

In reply to by Cocolt59

we have the same experience. Can you tell me the name of the person you meet online? because maybe he is the one who contacted me now. He said to me that there is a packaged that will be delivered to me. And yes he send some pictures of the items and the cargo sent me email about this package. The name of the cargo is Liberty Freight Cargo. And someone called me earlier that my package is already at the Subic Zambales but there is an additional fee that muat be paid before they will delivered it to me. I can track the tracking number on the site of the Liberty Freight Cargo but im scared because maybe this is a scam. Because there is money on the package. The money will be used to pay for the rent of the apartment because he will come here this coming november. Please help me.
Power of Hope
June 29, 2020

In reply to by Jade

Who was the named that you dating in email? we have the same experience. and the named of the courier? are you a filipina?
Yanie
July 01, 2020

In reply to by Power of Hope

Whats the name of the guy? Because i think we're in the same boat. And whats the name of the courier?
Tal
July 13, 2020

In reply to by Yanie

Hi can i join you because i have an experience like that today. The courier name is express worldwide services some one chat me there and ask me to send the money in her bpi account to send the package to me. But i did not pay and the guy scolded me so hard.
Dan
July 02, 2020

In reply to by Power of Hope

A friend has the same exact expraince she even called him on viber seen his face took pic and look up image on google and pic comes up with differant name
Shakir
August 19, 2020

In reply to by Power of Hope

Can i ask that name in online? I am also they scam me also..they asked money for me 15000 for extra charges and clearance.then after that they said the BOC scAnned that package has a money inside so they said me to throw 20,000 again for clearance.after i gave that money within 2days your package will delivered by your doorbell.and then after 1 day they said they need again 15,000 for local sending.but i never send them yet because this is too much..
Mary,
July 01, 2020

In reply to by Jade

For me was the same like you I should say his name es David Zhang Chen and from Florida. He asked me my address for to sent me a parcel. As you said unfortunately I already paid.
Cocktailparty
August 10, 2020

In reply to by Mary,

Hi there. I have same experience with the same name. But different is, he said from Texas. He said He was property agent. Lucky me, I know that was scammer. & almost scammed by him. He contacted me first from IG & chitchat on WA. He smart because can give up-todated his new selfie. And said fake love. Wanna send gifts too & he asked me to pay some money and went to airport to pick up the goods. He can give his home addresses but that was fake because I seach on google maps & shocked me that old-house. He did so many scam to people like us untill Indonesia. Perhaps this person gets caught soon. And we have to be carefull about similar scam like this.
Rea
October 09, 2020

In reply to by Mary,

Sad the same experience I already paid the needed payment foe for the said package, the name of the person I chat is Robert Noah Mark.
szein.
July 10, 2020

In reply to by Jade

what did you do? i have the same experience. The courier ask for fee then the next day they ask another 50k for penalty charge.i already payed and they ask again another 30k. and i didnt give it. they also threatened me that if i will not pay it i might be in bars because of money laundring. but i still havecommunication with the guy who sent the parcel.
szein.
July 10, 2020

In reply to by Jade

we really are in the same boat miss.can you give the name of the guy?
beberexha
July 14, 2020

In reply to by szein.

Hi! what's the name of that online friend you met? we're almost at the same boat.
sab
August 17, 2020

In reply to by Jade

Oh my gosh! I am experiencing it right now. There's this guy named Hoon Joon Jong from Orlando Florida. I met him on Meeff app. It is like a Korean dating app. He said to me that he will send me a package because I have prayed for him on his bidding and supported him on his contract. With that, he promised to send me gifts and that he will send it here in PH. I said to him, you don't have to send me anything but he insisted. He is using pictures of a handsome guy on Meeff. I don't know if that's really him. He looks like a celebrity tho. It's sad that He already got my details. but I am happy that I didn't send the money he and the LYON COURIER asked me. They are asking me now to pay 25,000 Philippine Peso. They are still chatting me. I had this feeling that something's fishy going on. Because every time the guy chats me, the LYON Courier also chats me. THEY ARE SCAMMERS GUYS! I WILL BLOCK THEM BOTH NOW! Thank God, I found this website or page. Now, I know that they are really not real people. I will not use any dating app from now on! Beware girls!
Say
August 26, 2020

In reply to by sab

We are the same situation. He's named is Lucas Chan from Orlando Florida. He also said to me that he will send me a surprise package because I pray for him on his bidding contract. He said to me he wants to send me a gifts here in PH. I said to him that you don't need to do that but he insisted. He also using a handsome pictures that looks like a korean celebrity. But he got my details already. But I'm still thankful I saw this page.
didi
September 28, 2020

In reply to by Say

That Lucas Chan!!! Since day 1 I already know that he is fake. I met him from meeff he said he’s a civil engineer from Florida. And he went to California for a bidding contract, now he wanted to receive his gift because I prayed for him for the bidding contract. He wants my personal detail so he can send it to me.
Jje
May 06, 2021

In reply to by didi

I know him, it’s the same thing happened to me. He said that he wanted to send me a gift because he win the bidding but then I declined it and few days later he text me saying that his mom stuck at turkey and running out of money and he can’t send the money because he’s in the middle of ocean and told me to send it and he will pay me back double that’s when i know something shady going on so i told him i have no money. He’s angry with me bcse i let his “mom” suffer and since then i block him.
Lia
October 23, 2021

In reply to by Say

Omg I’m chatting with him right now! He also got my contact # and address. Planning to block him right now. Can we talk please?
Jazz
November 24, 2020

In reply to by sab

Currently on the same boat. His name is Donghyun Chang, Korean guy, looks like a model, Project Manager at Hyundai, living in NY. He sends updated selfies and even video called me. We met thru IG then started chatting on whatsapp. I have relatives in NY so I was able to check inconsistencies with his phone number, work assignment but let it slide for a few days. He said he has quickly been smitten and wants to send a message but I declined several times. No he used his mom’s bday and she wished to send me “surprise” package. I declined several times but he said his mom will be offended. Then he sent a receipt and video of the package including the note that I had to pay $1500 upfront for clearance fee. He told me he will pay me back as he enclosed the same amount of money in the package. The courier company emailed me but I didnt click on the link nor tracked the document. He still thinks I have no idea but I reported him to BOC already and BOC told me to block the person asap.
Kate
August 18, 2020

In reply to by Jade

Hi we are in the same sittuation right now. Someone told me he sent me a gold ring and chocolate and money inside. What should i do because he never ask me money at all but he said the money is to use to rent a condo that when he came he has place to stay with me. And he give me tracking number too and it was there. What should i do now
cris
September 14, 2020

In reply to by Kate

Hi kate. What was the name of the man you meet online? because we have the same situation.I've meet this guy in online dating apps and he send me some package with money inside it and he said that it will be used for the rent of apartment because he will come here in philippines. What is his name? Where did he live?
Rea
October 09, 2020

In reply to by Kate

It's a scam block the person, we have the same situation
cris
September 15, 2020

In reply to by Jade

we have the same situation. What is his name? This guy sent me a package now and the package is already at philippines. In Subic Zambales. The Cargo is Liberty Freight Cargo. But the package was on hold because there is an additional fee charges to be paid before they deliver it to my place. Worth of 24,200. This is scam right?
Danica
September 30, 2020

In reply to by Jade

Same situation.i paid already through rcbc worth 25k. What Should I do? I have the account name whom I deposited the money. My chat mate name Green Bill. The cargo company name Acer freight logistics .
Danica
October 02, 2020

In reply to by Jade

Can I know your number? Same situation.. I want to know the name of the receiver of the money whom you sent?
Lyenannetyne 40
November 22, 2020

In reply to by Jade

We are same situation that guy I meet by online and he start message me by gmail I just wonder that he is a good person because he is devoted by GOD.. after that he sent me a package through standard shipping cargo and I shock that I have to pay 16,300 for clearance and after I pay that amount after a few hours the clearance agent lady message me that I have to pay 35k for penalty for huge foreign currency inside the package so I think it is a scam coz the lady told me that package is there in coron palawan so I'm doubt coz that place is an island a tourist distanation and no big shipping cargo going there so the lady force me to pay penalty or else the custom well confiscate the package, because I have doubt on this so I didn't pay the penalty instead I report this in the police station so they confirmed that this is a scam..
Mayari
September 07, 2021

In reply to by Jade

Hi I met a guy like that in dating app but his name was different he used Jeffrey Austin name he said words to me like that he will give money so I can find condo when he arrives here. Also, he sand a package and it's now in the Philippines the courier said I need to pay for 18,700 for the clearance charges. I knew it was scam.
KERPS
August 18, 2020

In reply to by Hello

Hey I got same situation right now, there is one guy send me gadgets and money inside then the courier company call me that I need to pay local fee of Php 25,000 and the guy insisted me to pay so that we can avoid any problems on that package. He gave me tracking number and website. The website seem legit cause you can search it on google and the tracking number is searchable through the website. The problem is I try to search the tracking number thru apps and no result found. Someone can help me here?
cris
September 14, 2020

In reply to by KERPS

hello kerps. we are in the same situation. I am experiencing it now. This guy buy me a gadgets,accessories and even flowers and chocolate and purse with money inside. The package is already here at philippines because i can track it but the cargo called me that there is an additional fee to be paid which is 24,200 pesos. And this man i meet online called me that he cannot send me money because they are sailing now to France because he is a seaman. This guy says his name is Kelly Luster from Burnt Oak Norway Oklahoma. This is scam right? Did someone helped you in our case?
Venus
October 16, 2020

In reply to by Hello

Hello, this is happening to me right now. Same case. I met this guy online. Saying he is also from India but after his parents passed away his uncle raised him in UK. And now he got settled there and working as a pilot for British Airways. At first I really thought of him so genuine so we continued chatting. Later he said he wanted to send me some gifts. I told him not to send anything but to surprise me he said he already bought it and gave it to the delivery company and there is a surprise as well. Later I found out there was a 40000usd in that parcel. He sent me the tracking ID and asked me to track the consignment number. First they asked me to pay 15,500 for clearance, 2nd after scanning they said I need to pay for the tax and insurance. Thirdly, they sent me a status showing in their website saying 40000 is to be paid for usd exchange money. Later again telling me to pay for activation fee so that it will reflect in my account. I seriously thought he was telling me the truth. But I doubted maybe this is all fake. Bos they asked me to 35000 for fund verification. Thanks to one of my friend in Delhi. She told that I do need to pay anything to the customs and if its an individual personal bank account it is a fraud. Now this person who sent me is getting angry because I cannot pay and saying he requested the officer to cut down to 15000 last payment and everything will get to me. I don't want to believe anymore. Please help.
Maria
November 21, 2020

In reply to by Venus

We are on the same boat. I experienced that recently, I didnt pay on what they want the foreigner (pilot) from london get mad at me he threaned me because I sent him my address. I blocked him and also the number who called me that came from an agency or what so ever, now i always think of that happened to me, i got scared and worried all the time..
Mocabrown
January 14, 2020
Hi my financee used speed delivery services to deliver a package to me from overseas. I have had to pay fees to receive package. The delivery company has promised twice to deliver and given a date and time. Package has not been delivered yet and it’s been two months waiting. Should I contact my lawyer about this issue, help.
concerned
February 28, 2020
today received a text saying your FEDEX package with tracking code GB-6412-GH8 is waiting for you to set delivery preferences: b7cne. info/ p4AnWKCSSy - I went to FEDEX tracking site to see what the package was and it indicated this is not a valid tracking code - Is this a scam?
FTC Staff
February 28, 2020

In reply to by concerned

It could be a scam. If you get a text you don't expect, don't click the link. The link could take you to a fake website. The fake website might ask for personal information or credit card information.

If you think the message could be legitimate, use a website or phone number you know is real to contact the company. Don’t use the information in the text message.

Rose F.
July 28, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

I have gotten 2 of these texts.. here is the msg from 171-445-4939, Hello, is this Rose? We tried to arrange a delivery for you but you weren't home, please go to k6szv.info/owlVH5pqzD HZ Transport. I am going to report it.
Cvs7
January 28, 2020
This is what I have been getting almost every day. I haven't ordered any package "Shipped: Carmen your packet will be delivered by today. Track at heznow. xyz?phone= 770xxxxxxx"
Jwright
January 16, 2020
I got a text that a package is waiting to be delivered with a tracking # and link to open. I knew it's a scam even before I went to the fed ex tracking page and there was no such number.
Jealina joli
January 18, 2020
Hello there!i have a chat mate from cali and work in kabul afganistan as officer.he said he send me his documents and i need to pay $1500 for the box.and it have a red seal that is why the box is confidential,..
Treal
January 30, 2020

In reply to by Jealina joli

What is his name? i have one to from California. He said his name was Henry dacis but the package he is sending is under ohis james. He also said he is deployed in Iran. They are asking for $1000.