Skip to main content

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.

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

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.

December 18, 2014
I received an email from FedEx last night and I questioned its legitimacy. I was not expecting a package.
February 17, 2016
Iam protected with I got so far.
December 18, 2014
Thank you and happy holidays!!!
December 18, 2014
I just got a pop up saying I might have a virus and to call them Java at 1-877-546-7588 Was this legitimate?
senior center …
December 19, 2014

In reply to by billings84

Probably not legit. Do not call them. Java does not have anything to do with virus protection.
December 20, 2014

In reply to by billings84

JAVA will always notify you while you are online doing something, of any updates or of any compromises. If you use JAVA constantly, as I do, you will find that udates are usually downloaded and you make the decision as to if you want the update. You can also find information regarding any updates, etc., at JAVA's website. Hope thiss helps. Happy and safe holidays to all.
December 18, 2014
this has been going on for awhile now ....... simply diff topics
December 18, 2014
I have received such emails and just deleted them because it is so obvious a scam.
December 18, 2014
I have received those emails and always ignor and delete them because it was an obvious scam
Birder Girl
December 18, 2014
Messages are also coming from "FedEx First Overnight" with a subject "Delivery Problem ID" and gives a specific string of numbers. Don't open; has to be scam.
December 18, 2014
They hit me last week. Adobe Flash Player
December 18, 2014
Thanks for the tip about these scammers doing their disgusting maleware to innocent people and trying to steel money this time of the year.
December 19, 2014
This is a great article! Everyone take note!!! These updates are very informative, share the email!!
December 19, 2014
Thank you so much for the alerts, especially during the holiday when we are using debit and credit cards. It's not safe anywhere anymore, online or offline. I encouraged all my Facebook friends to check out this site and read the alerts! I hope they do so.
December 19, 2014
I have been receiving these emails but, mine say there from fedex.
December 19, 2014
yup, got that email and I went to PO and asked, didn't open it and spammed/reported it.
Birder Girl
December 19, 2014
Forgot to mention in my post of yesterday that the sender of the supposed FedEx message I received has an email address with a ".ru" extension = Russia.
December 12, 2018

In reply to by Birder Girl

Same, first time ever, this week, a lot of orders including from eBay, Walgreens, fedex, eBay was a over 1,000 dollars lap top!
December 20, 2014
I don't believe any delivery service will just up and E-Mail you for a package. First thing is they probably don't have your E-Mail address anyway. The only thing I have seen before is a note on the door or in the mailbox that you take to the post office, UPS, or FedEx for pickup if they could not leave the package at your home. We got the FedEx scam E-Mail already, but the key works very well in response to it.
December 20, 2014
None of those emails seem to bother me.
December 20, 2014
OK, great, thanks for the truckloads of warnings and "I didn't fall for it" testimonies, BUT... what can someone do if they DID fall for it?
February 17, 2016

Check your FedEx e-mail for this: Label/Receipt Number: 45675665665 This is definitely a scam!

Georgia #1
December 20, 2014
ALWAYS confirm by phone to UPS, Fedex etc, of any attempted delivery. NEVER respond to the email!
December 20, 2014
I see on both my Facebook and Paypal accounts, that I listed for bid, sold the item (a tablet), collected the money and the transaction took place. I don't think I've ever listed an item for sell, and if so, it's been a long time ago. Someone posted the tablet for sale on my account. It wasn't me. This gentleman wants his items, that I don't have. How could someone get into my account? How can I keep this person out of my access to my account? Please help me. I don't want this man to think I am a scammer, and up my security. Please.
Xmass Woes
December 21, 2014
Received a message from a fraudulent fraudulent email supposedly from Walmart. The message stated I only had 4 days to pick up package.
December 21, 2014
I am constantly getting these types of emails through my gmail account. Additionally I receive montetary fund emails from people claiming to be from the FBI all the way to the President of the united states office. One thing I do though is show the original portion of the email that looks like a text document, then I go to the received from line which contains a IP address. When I go to google and put it in, it tells me where the email originated from. Sometimes especially if it originates in the US, it will give me the exact location, business and telephone number. I have called a few times and that business was very surprised to get a call from me. So yes it is real and it is iretating as well.
December 24, 2014
Merry Christmas. This is a unique Christmas to me. I was reached by your office. Anyway, I am asking you full support to stop this barbaric act done by some brothers and sisters. This is really a crime and that havoc or disturbs the peaceful and tranquility life of the victim.
anonymous receiver
December 25, 2014
Received a phone call from Adam walker from the department of legal affairs. His speel ran on that he was calling in regards to legs action that had been taken against me but couldn't provide me with my full name when he left the message. Told me I needed to contact him at once before this became a complete and total legal mess. He said I had to call him back by the same date as he called on or I would have to have my attorney call for me. Wished me a blessed day. Was a California number and definitely a scam! When people get these calls, we should call them at all hours of the night and harass the he!! Out of them for doing this to innocent people. Give them adose of there own medicine! I'm sure these numbers can be tracked. Didn't start getting these phone calls until I switched my phone number to frontier communications and direct TV. I'm changing my number and going back to Comcast. For those out there experiencing this, it starts with the heck cashing calls and escalates from there. I'm going to start calling them in the middle.of the night my time as it will be 2a.m. there time and give them crap for doing so to me!
January 11, 2015

In reply to by anonymous receiver

Fun with telemarketers and telephone scammers. Answer the call and pretend you are a homicide detective investigating the death of the person they think they are calling. Demand their name and company address, pretend to talk to another detective and have them contact the police in the caller's area to "Detain them for questioning" as a suspect in your alleged homicide. Lot's of fun, or keep putting them on hold while you go to the bathroom, answer the door, smoke a cigarette, then come back pretend to be interested, and make them wait again. See how long it takes them to hang up. Another favorite, pretend you don't understand English....Make up your own language, Chinese "I Tie You Shoe"....say it fast. Spanish....spell out the word SOCKS fast...S O C K S? German is fun to fake and even someone that speaks the language, they'll never understand a word.
January 06, 2015
for 1. I've been getting all of these for several months. so it's not just the holidays folks. it is just a bit more noticeable during the holidays! 2. responding will only get you a disconnected number in most cases. calling them in your time zone thereby pestering them in the odd hours, really, most of these are robo calls.. no one at the other end! just report them block them delete them. and ignore them! they go away for awhile.. really not worth the anger over it!
January 11, 2015
I've been in both the information technology and Loss Prevention business for 4 decades (now retired). Here are some common tips: If asked for any personal or financial information by email, it's a scam. All carriers be it government USPS or private (UPS, FedEx, etc.) never ask for information via email. If a missed delivery happens, unless you signed up for it online for a package you are expecting, you should not see an email notice. The postman or delivery man ALWAYS leaves a written notice on your door or in your mailbox, and usually makes 3 attempts to deliver your package. If you don't have that in addition to the email (which would come after the driver's notice) IT IS A SCAM! Legitimate packages are often stolen from your door step, so ALWAYS require an adult signature for any package, no exception. Even post a sign on your door for no packages to be left without a signature. This will cut down on thefts of actual legitimate deliveries. I often say that it is more accurate to say "Lost Reaction" than "Loss Prevention". Many times stolen money or packages, even with video of the crooks, are rarely recovered or prosecuted. Never click on a link from any email you don't expect. Even family or friends sending you gifts, should have the tracking number and know who they used. I always tell people when I am sending them a package, the tracking number, and when they should expect it. I will provide their email address for legitimate package notices, but they will know in advance who is bringing the package. Good luck....Here's a tip you'll all love. Keep the empty Amazon boxes and fill it with bricks (or Dog Poop is best and more fun), then leave it on your door step just for the criminal to steal. Be sure to set up the security camera to catch them stealing and getting the (you know) they deserve.
Not fooled
January 12, 2015
I receive emails, calls and letters in the mail. Latest scam: Missed a postal package none deliverable pick up. What do I do? I know it is a scam, for I know what I ordered and what I have sent by postal service, for when I send or order I always ask for a tracking number, it insures me when my package will arrive or the day it will be delivered to the reciever for safe delivery. I also know that UPS/Fed-X does not notify by email, always by a ticket on your door or in your mail box. I delete the messages and report to the internet fraud site. I have good protection on my computer and it blocks my messages for me and gives me a warning that this is potentially dangerous do not open! I love my anti-virus VIPER!!
January 13, 2015
I sell on eBay, so I know firsthand how shipping companies operate. There is no way that either USPS or UPS or FedEx e-mail you about a package; it's just not how it works. If a delivery missed you, you'll receive a slip in your physical mail instructing you to pick it up at the post office. As a mail recipient, you'll NEVER pay any penalty.
February 09, 2015
i opened the attachment. What do I do next?
Aditi Jhaveri
February 09, 2015

In reply to by tennis4babe


Monitor your computer for unusual behavior. Update your security software, and then run it to scan your computer for viruses and spyware. If you suspect you have malware on your computer, take the steps outlined in our Malware article to get rid of it.

March 25, 2015
Received a SECOND FedEX Delivery Exception email telling me a pkg failed to deliver and is being sent back to shipper. Thing's NOT my pkg! My name was attached to the email as a CONTACT NAME, but there is no shipper OR recipient information; there is a tracking number, door tag number, and invoice number. I checked FedEx and it seems to be a legit tracking number, but has nothing to do with me, yet it arrived at my work email inbox................
May 31, 2015
Received a notification from Expessway courier service, saying I need to pay for a package that is being delivered to me, constant mails and phone calls and the so called parcel was from the UK, but apprently got sent back to sender, surely a sender pays to have the parcel delivered not the recipient, payment was requested via money gram too.
March 02, 2016

In reply to by Sue

Me too now I received an email from apx telling me to pay for the parcel from uk. But i am expecting of thatparcel but they let me pay $550 for there is money inside .
February 17, 2016
Yup, it's still happening!! I received an email yesterday stating that FedEx could not deliver a package. Funny, it was sent to an email account that I rarely use so no place would have this email that I order stuff from. I only ordered items from Amazon (they use UPS) and I received that package yesterday. Annoying, stupid people......
Miguel C
April 12, 2016

Email from APX: Regards Begin forwarded message: From: Airparceldelivery Service Date: 11 April, 2016 9:17:27 am GMT+8 To: "  i t" Subject: ORDER NUMBER WDCL/OHG/2016; Ms. I T Reply-To: Airparceldelivery Service AIR PARCEL COURIER Welcome! Air Parcel Courier. Regional Head Office UK. +447937459922 11th April 2016

Dear Ms. xAC With reference to the delivery of your package, I wish to bring to your notice that your package has been placed on hold by the Singaporean customs for some reasons which happens to violate the shipping policies. The Singaporean customs detected that currency were included in your parcel. Thereby, certain commissions must be paid as customs duty via us by the recipient which is for the immediate clearance of your package. For the main time all tracking information has been withheld , this is in accordance to the mode of operations in the Courier sector for financial delivery. We have already taken order number for this package from the custom.

The recipient is required to follow all instructions giving to you to facilitate the release of your package. Please, be informed that you are to pay the required charges listed below for the immediate release of your package. As soon as we receive confirmation and evidence of payment of the charges below then we would proceed with the release and clearance process and dispatch your package immediately. Then the expected time of delivery will be sent to you. Please do not hesitate to email me, should you need any further information. I look forward to hearing from you. Custom Commission duty And Tax Administrative Clearance 1150 650 TOTAL 1800 SGD 1800 DELIVERY DESTINATION NAME : Ms. xXa NOTE: Please confirm the above address for the effective delivery of your package We are glad to be of service to you. Yours Sincerely Mr. David Lamberson Head,Customer Propositions +447937459922 Air Parcel Courier

May 11, 2016
I just got an online scam today from Mr. David Lamberson. The details email are correct with the above and I already transferred the money into personal bank account. And after they got the payment, they asked for the insurance fee again which is more expensive than the custom tax. I didn't make the payment and Mr. David Lamberson keep pushing me to do the transferred. I already reported to the police.
October 19, 2020

In reply to by CINDY

Greetings madam this is Agent of vintage delivery service and please confirm if below information is yours: Name: Address: Contact: Sender Name: Country: If yes I wish to inform you that your package have arrived in Manila Philippines Here and I have been calling you but not connecting, so the custom here hold me and are demanding for clearance tax charge of your package before i can be allowed to take any available move to your address, so madam your package has been taken to the security room here in Custom and are waiting for the custom charge to Be cleared. NOTE: Once this custom charge is paid here it won't be paid again because a receipt will be issued ok. and the custom charge of your package is estimated to 700 dollars equivalent to 34,700 Philippine peso so madam i need to notify you that you have no more time left so you have to try as fast as possible to solve the situation before they confiscate your package, so when you're about to make the deposit tell me so I can give you our company payment information for fast pick up, thank you as i wait. Do you think this is legit and the agent is asking me with that amount just to pay custom charges?
June 08, 2016
I just received this email today and didn't order or request anything. The tracking # is the wrong format...this got to be a scam! **** This is a post-only message. Please do not respond. **** Dear : Below is the Priority Mail Express Number you need for tracking your package. Priority Mail Express Confirmation Number 420071119470101699320023896177 Your package is scheduled for shipment on 06/07/16. This email was automatically generated by the US Postal Service ( ) at the shipper's request. Any reply to this email will not be received by the USPS or shipper. The USPS has not collected or retained any personal information that would identify you or your purchase from this email. Thank you, **** This is a post-only message. Please do not respond. ****
daddy girl
August 02, 2016
GUYS IT'S ME STILL NEED HELP I GOT A FRIEND HE SAID HE IS FROM UK TO THOSE SOCIAL MEDIA THEN HE PLEASE MY NUMBER FOR WHATSAPP THEN I GAVE HIM THEN HE TALK WITH ME FROM THERE THEN HE SAID HE IS THINKING OF SENDING FOR ME GIFS.THEN HE SHOWED PICS YESTERDAY AS HAVING ALL HE SAID ARE MY GIFTS BUT THEN HE EVEN SAID HERE IN MMY COUTRY THEY WILL CHARGE ME R6000 for delivery so will b my responsibility to pay it .he show me even proof show me my details as reciever but i dnt trust that.then today that someone phone me he said he is from that courier so he wil send details then me i have to send that money to that account so its a scam or what cz he even send pics of him as white person bt i dnt trust still nd that person who phone me from courier his accent was of nigerian so i dnt trust so is it possible even to recieve a parcel from uk with 24 hrs?
FTC Staff
August 02, 2016

In reply to by daddy girl

If you met someone online, you don't know who he really is. If he is asking you for money, you do not need to pay. It could be a scam.

Giry girl
May 08, 2017

In reply to by daddy girl

I also just got this friend on facebook claimed to have brought me a gift and his also white but the courier guy who called sounds Nigerian but i saw right through all this scammer
January 22, 2020

In reply to by daddy girl

If it is a gift, then why are they asking for money... be smart, it is rare to receive a gift from an unknown person without strings attached.
August 03, 2016

Can i ask ?? I have bf from u.k he sent me a package, he said the package is already here in my country , but i need to pay the airport tax here in philippine before i get my package .. I think it is a scam .. But he called me how many times . and the number he used is from u.k .. I really dont know what to do ..