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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.

846 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.

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  • 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.

FTC Staff
October 22, 2020

In reply to by jha

This sounds like a scam. This is how it might happen. You meet someone online. They ask to send you a gift or package. But when the package arrives, a “Customs” official says you must pay a fee or taxes to get the package. The person you are chatting with online is cooperating with the fake “Customs” person. They are working together to get your money. If you pay, they will keep your money.

Rose
October 28, 2020

In reply to by jha

I meet someone and he send his gift in ACERLOGISTICS COMPANY and it turns out that its a scam they asked me to pay the 25,000 if i wont send the payment they will charge something to me and i got afraid so i pay the 25,000 and they're asking for 65,000 for the legal certificate cause there is a big amount inside the package the name of that man is GREEN WALCORT BILL he said his an engineer beware of this man .
Kat
March 23, 2021

In reply to by Rose

Hi we have a same situation. me i know who this man is. if you can send me his picture pls.
Aprlmy
October 27, 2020
I received a call from this morning saying i have a package from the person i talk online we dont know each other personally we talk thru email and he send me a package and the tracking # as well and i saw there is., it was on hold right now i need to pay 18,700 pesos for the tax, and i dont know if this is legit or scam.. How can i be sure? This is the courier link pedcargo. com/ en
Roselyn
October 20, 2020
hi may i ask some australian approach me on fb and said he want to buy propertt here in the Philippines and send me package now it landed in cebu mactan, they are asking for 25,000 Pesos and the account to be paid is personal account on BDO, I ask for the photo of the package but they said it is not allowed... the amount and the name of the logistics doubts me that it's a scam... is it really a scam, should it be that big amount for just claiming a package?
Vhel.
October 22, 2020
I dintbknow if it is a scam or not.. I ask my friend if this a scam ee check also in custom the person who make a call that your parcel was arrived and check the address..this parcel is from Uk all the xpences is paid and has also tracking and tracking number. Thr parcel should be here in manila but someone called me her name is lenie francisco she is in mactan intrrnational custom the parcel is there and ask me 25000, and the name of the courier is megaglobalexpress is this legit or not.. If not i think its scam that lady is a scammer.. I did not pay anything because my friend said theres no anything to pay fees..
Nenita Galapati
October 24, 2020
Hi everyone, I need help. Are you familiar with Purolator Delivery Service Company? Is that legit? My boyfriend told me he will send me money by that courier, he was an us army who was in Afghanistan now for mission. I did not receive any calls yet asking me to pay for the parcel, my boyfriend told me that the package will arrived here in Philippines by Monday or Tuesday? Is this scam?
Sabrina
October 24, 2020
Hey can I ask if Global Courier Company really exist? They message me that I have a package to be picked up from UK. But they're asking me to pay 20,000 pesos. Is it a scam? I don't know what to do now... I'm scared they might blackmail me because they know my name...
Mbrl
October 27, 2020
Hi i meet someone on dating site and then he offered to sent a gift from me and then the name of the company is diamond freight logistics based in united states of africa that company sent an email to me that someone sent a package to me and the shipment package is on arrive at the philippines at it say on hold for administrative charges of 24,500 i want to know if its scam or not?
Rose
October 28, 2020
I have known someone He told me that he lives in US and he sent a package for me then few days ago. I recieved a text message saying that my parcel is already arrived to my country there are some information about my package including the name of the sender and i have to pay 25,000 for the charges and they told me that if i will not get my package within 24 hours they will charge me as demorriage its my first time to recieved a package and i dont know anything about the policy of sending or recieving the package i got afraid i borrowed money from my friends and i pay those charges that they told me .1and after i paid they texted me that my parcel is still processing and undergo scanning then after few hours they texted me saying that they detected big amount inside my package and i need to pay so that the airport wont file a case against me .And they told me that i need to pay 65,000 for the processing of legal documents if i cant pay that amount they are going to confiscate the package . I texted them many times begging to return my 25,000 cause i just borrowed that amount and i have a 3 year old child who needs milk and food and i am just working part time cause no one will take care of my son and now theY're texting me again to pay the 65,000 if i wont pay they will charge me as money laundering i dont know what to do anymore i am scammed i am so depressed i dont have sleep and i dont eat food im thinking how to pay the money that i borrow and also where can i get food for my family sometimes i just washed my neighbors clothes just to earn money for food.Until now they're continue blackmailing me telling me to pay those bills so that they wont file a case against me. I am very depressed right now.
FTC Staff
October 28, 2020

In reply to by Rose

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. The person you are chatting with online is cooperating with the fake official. They are working together to get your money. If you pay, they will keep your money. If you pay, they might threaten you, and tell you to pay more money. They are working to frighten you and take your money. You can choose to stop talking to them. You could ignore the text. This sounds like a scam to take your money.

Debbie
October 28, 2020
I too have received a email from a man that I have been talking to for a couple of months now. He wants to send me a package from Syria. The fast line service sent me a form to fill out. I just have a feeling that something is not right with the form. It is asking for a copy of my driver’s license? Just confused over the form and giving out that information.
FTC Staff
October 30, 2020

In reply to by Debbie

If you give someone a copy of your driver's license they can steal your identity. You're right to be very cautious about sharing too much information. You don't have to give information just because a form asks for it. You don't have to accept the package at all.

There are other scams related to getting packages from someone you meet online. Some scammers say they're sending jewelry, electronics, cash, or other valuable goods. But when the package arrives, you'll get a call, email or text from a "customs" or "delivery" service, demanding a large payment. They'll say you're responsible for clearance fees, taxes, or other charges, and threaten you if you won't pay. That's a scam, and the person you met online is cooperating with the fake "customs" or "delivery" service.

Msturner
October 29, 2020
I think I'm being scam by fake shipping company. Fast transport shipping. Order something and thought it was coming from dc and now asking for 250.00 insurance refundable fee. Package is on hold with custom. I can't find a thing.
Don't use your…
October 29, 2020
Hi i have received a message from unknown number but from Philippines country code and they told me if i have expecting package from my friend in and i said yes . And they told me i have a custom clearance 25000 pesos for delivery and any charges. What i should we do???
FTC Staff
November 04, 2020

In reply to by Don't use your…

This could be a scam. Check the law in your country. Does the real customs service require people to pay to get packages?

Sometimes when you meet someone new online, they will offer to send you a package. But when the package arrives, a  fake “Customs” official 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 “Customs” person. They are working together to get your money. If you pay, they will keep your money. If you pay one time, they might ask you for more money. If you do not pay, they might threaten you and try to scare you, because they want your money.  That's part of the scam. You can choose to block them. them. There really is no package. This is all a story to take your money.

tansneth
February 05, 2021

In reply to by Don't use your…

same here. I experienced also like that but I don't have responsibilities for that because i didn't sign any documents from them
Texas gakD
October 30, 2020
I received an expensive package from UPS yesterday today I just received this phone number in my text saying" Hi sorry I been so busy I got a new phone number". It's got to be coming from UPS or they have been hacked. I've ordered from this company 100s of times I wonder if they have been hacked also. Think I'll call them.
Ricky
October 31, 2020
Hi I'm experiencing like that few weeks ago me my friend gets closer. Then she said that she me a package through the largest Currier company, On October 23,2020 she take my email add, phone number and either my complete name,, in short she send me all the receipts and the transaction slip with expected delivery date here in the Philippines is October 29,2020; aside on that I will receive email from the logistics that I need to pay 15,000 for the costum pay before I received that package thru Cebuana; in connection with that I will ask their Philippines address before I made the payment but until now they didn't response.. is that ligit or scam? Please help
Dhodzkie
November 01, 2020
Last Oct 20,2020 my friends send me a package from Us about 20kg.The send me the reciept from air bill diplomatic delivery company also the picture of the things inside the package , also the vedio from the company to the port..After 2 days I recieved a text that your parcels are arrived then I call the but din't call because of coverage area the chat to my friend and told him the company always call him they said that the call me but did no contucted me...them pass day Oct, 25 my friend chat me and said why my cell number can't contuct my friend told me that the company said I pay the tax of the package it cost 800USD I said its big amount in the philippines it equivalent P38,000.00 pesos something I said I dint pick the package I ask to my friend what is name of person call you but my friends did not answer to me I think my friends is also one of their member as if now we are not call each other..
Shena Mae Rodriguez
November 02, 2020
I sign it but i don't know how to cancel it and they text me the delivery is now
Tinay
November 03, 2020
Hello there someone said he sent me a parcel through Global Air Cargo International . Just this morning the said cargo mailed me the the package has arrived the Philippines but I need to pay 7500 for the tax clearance through , 7/11, gcash , or LBC. And send them the receipt , is this through or just a scam . Please help
Fame
November 05, 2020
I met a man on Facebook he gave me his WhatsApp number and I gave him mine too. He asked whether I have iPhone or any apple products so that we could have video call, I said no. He then promised to send me an iPhone and apple Mac book. 3 days later which is today, he sent the picture of the two items and the receipt to me. The receipt contain his name, the items price and the date. The date is correct. He made a video too showing me an iPhone in a shop with the receipt on the table. Pls how true is this? I Hope isn't a scam?
CMac
November 06, 2020
I have been conversing with a soldier from Kuwait for the past few for a while. I think I've fallen for a scammer I hate to say. This guy was good!! Anyway, he stated that his company was to receive a reward for the good job they were doing there and he was going to send me a check. He used a place called Zip Jet Express. When I got the email that it was in the states, it told me I had to pay $1500!!! I'm sick!! I'm taking a day off work to get my head straight and I might even see a therapist!!
Muna
November 09, 2020
This from Mid-way deliveryworld from USA?? I wondered if that scam or not?? I get this email!! Now it get more...Let me know if that email address scam or not: Mid Way deliveryworld wrote: Complaint service center today as regards to your package, the delivery company discover that the CUSTOM SERVICE AVIATION stop the process of your package delivering to you because of some delivery rules and regulations Note: The World delivery and regulatory body which require every customer to pay cost of CUSTOM SERVICE AVIATION as part of Lay down laws in world delivery act Regulations (2003) if any object is been detected in the package to be delivered . TheCUSTOM SERVICE AVIATION ( CSA) fee is to be met by the receiving client to enable the delivery of your package to you successfully . The delivery company has requested of you a Cost of $25,500 which covers all CUSTOM SERVICE AVIATION cost fee made from this package, we are sorry if this may cause you some any inconveniences but it's the rules and regulations INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY UNIT has made compulsory. Kind Regards Now will hold the parcel and asked for hold the box go up to 86,500usd Can you help me if it is scam or not??
FTC Staff
November 09, 2020

In reply to by Muna

Please read the comment from FTC staff on this page. This sounds like a scam. 

LEEY LEE
November 09, 2020
SOMEONE TOLD ME THAT HE WILL SEND A PACKAGE FOR ME BUT HE SAID I NEED TO PAY 35K AS A RECIEVER, I NEED TO PAY 35K BEFORE THEY DELIVER THE PACKAGE, IS THIS A SCAM?
Leekate
November 09, 2020
A guy i met online suddenly said he has a package for me and ask abt my shipping address, i gave my office address. And then after that he gave me the courier sevice website and track #, the name of the courier is GLOBAL WAYS LOGISTICS. He told me to chat the courier and just follow their instructions on how to claim the parcel. I was excited so i open the web track the order it was all there, info abt the parcel, origin, deestination etc. And this chat icon pop up with a mssg. So i asked when the package arrive and if any charges, and the chat said yes $1000, so i asked why said its express and the items in the package are expensive. So for the delivery i need to chat them the next morning. I ask for the local courier the chat said they dont have becoz theyre international thats why i need to chat them the next morning.i was having doubt so i did not chat the next morning, i just waited for the parcel that day to arrive but none came. So i thought this courier is a scammer. Beware of this. And the guy i met online insisting to chat with them to claim the parcel and if i can't bargain the fees which doubted me more. And he said the parcel costs that much becoz of the apple 11, apple laptop , jrwelries etc. So many scammers on line now a days.
Nehjjiji
November 21, 2020
Hi I'm asking about that package. Someone chat me in instagram then he add me on my watsapp. After a week's he ask me my address. I don't like to give my address at the first place .after a week again I give my address to him .then he sending me a package. AIR COURIER INTERNATIONAL. Is it legit or not? Same your experience I pay 15,000 first then second I already pay 35,000 . Then I need to pay again it's a last payment 50,000. I'm not give another 50,000 because I don't have a money . Until now they chat me about that package. What can I do?
labradorroland…
November 23, 2020
good day! someone texted me, about the package, they said I need to pay for the package that has not been paid, they are still in manila, because they said they have not paid the custom, then she asked me for 25k, then she videocalled me, and what his face was in the video, also the same in his picture, if I did not pay she would call the shopping company and I would return it to him, is that a scam or not, it came from Syria
Jrj
November 23, 2020
I got email and call they said I need to pay 15750 peso for customs taxes from AER logistics got email from this email customercare@ Is this a scam ?they want me to pay before they will deliver of the package.
Elizabeth
December 11, 2020
I met a man online he says he work at apple store that he loves me and he sent me a phone so i can make a video with him and I also got a mail from express shipping I don't know if it is a scam
Doug
December 14, 2020
Hi. I have a question. If all the victims gave their home addresses as the delivery address to the scammers, how dangerous can it be for the victims? How far do the scammers go in imposing danger to the victims? To which authority here in the philippines can the victims report to to ensure their safety?
Coco
December 15, 2020
Hi, I have a friend, he said send a package via stanbic logistics from Indonesia, the package is in Mexico but the remittance is in USA. They requesting $1000 to release the package to my address in USA. Do you think is a scam. Please advise
Clwood61
December 21, 2020
My iPhone 11 Pro has bn shipped to me thru text I know it’s was scam right away I’m This is what it looks like: Track your parcel Delivery failed Shipment is still available for pickup against a custom fee. Detained at Distribution Center, Terminal 2, due to lack of postage. 21 DEC 2020 8:17 AM The item can be picked up fronm a postal outlet once the notice of arrival has been recived. 24 DEC 2020 3:32 PM Item ready for pick up at a Post Office collection point against a notive of arrival or item code. 19 DEC 2020 2:58 PM CONTINUE Package information Package content Package number Tracking number Number of packages Senders reference number Weight Measure iPhone 11 Pro 256GB #370720681142227480 70720681142227472 1 67922 0,7 kg 39x21x15 (LxWxH
Kets
December 22, 2020
Do they usually text you on your whats up or how do they usually contact their customers.
John
December 29, 2020
I recieved a fb friend request too from a female soldier that said she was in Afganistan. She stated her area was bombed and thanked God for being alive. Being a Christian, I stated I would pray for her safety. Her squad then was going into a Revenge mission which she stated was risky. After the mission to retaliate with the Taliban, her squad came across tons of money. She stated that the troops are legal to take and divide the spoils(the ones on this misson only) Story goes about 10 soldiers are taking there share. She sends me a video of packs of 100's in a container with documents and etc. she wants to move quickly out of Afghanistan. She asked me to recieve it hoping it wouldn't be detected lining the suitcase but of course then I get and email that Boston Logan Airport Customs found that over $500k was in the case and they need $2500. Here is the intial email when I payed the $550 to get it to the states.. Attention Mr John... Your luggage has been shipped to United States and you can track the status of your luggage on our website , inhourcargo. com. To know when exactly your luggage will be in United States by tomorrow . Click on tracking shipment and insert your invoice number : inhour3566 and tracking pin : 198300 To view the status of your luggage Thank you for choosing inhour cargo delivery Afghanistan Mr Abdul Ahad Inhour cargo customer care Afghan/Mili/Bs/Branch Then the plot thickens ... We are having a little challenge with the clearance , Customs discovered over half a million us dollars inside your luggage and was requesting for a declaration form which you don't have and they insist you must pay a FINE of $2500 within 24hours otherwise you will loose your luggage. We advice , you provide the FINE so we can pay them to enable them Clear your luggage for further delivery . Please do the needful let's avoid this matter to Expand . Abdul Ahad When I state back and forth between the "friend Cindy Hill" online but shipper tag Cindy Davis Brooks hmmm that I don't have the money, accusations that I'm mean and not compassionate even though I'm out $550 (thank God PayPal will return) then a twist Due to the pressure from Captain Cindy , Wr have spoken to the customs give you a all time to gather the penalty fee . Let us know once you have it Abdul AhadYeah Now all Cindy needed was 4 $100 iTunes carsds so her friend can get online and transfer the $2500 from her bank. I called Logan airport in Boston to see if I had a package there and they said they wouldn't ask for money if there was one there, there isn't. Beautiful female solider in love with me with thousands to share all a dream that said your getting used. Beware..also conversations moved to WhatsApp at the beginning of all this...all within 15 days 12.24 2020 Merry Christmas trust your gut.
Don't use your…
March 25, 2021

In reply to by John

Hello the same thing happen to a friend of mine also
Capetown786
August 12, 2021

In reply to by John

Sad to say currently as I'm speaking exact same scenario. This dude say his a us soldier deployed in yemen ...bt wise madam here didn pay a dime ...colonel leroi chris ramazani what a joke he is....he's in yemen bt why he's calling from California +1 (628) lol
Erika heat
December 26, 2020
They Tex me several times a day there's no number to call all the icon / buttons are fake don't do anything I need to figure out how to get ahold of them so they STOP!!!
Suleyma
December 28, 2020
I had meet someone through an online app and I only have been taking to him for a few days and all of sudden he tells me he bought me a gift and I told him it wasn’t necessary. I had even asked have you ever done this before. He had said no. I was surprised and asked him why would you do that? He sent me a tracking number and the web address where it was sent through. The web page is hindacargocourier .com. All of a sudden a get an email that said my packaged was on hold and that I had to pay $2839 for it. I talked to some at the company and they said I had to pay for it and I told them they can return it back to the sender. I was not going to pay and and they told me you make deposits. Lol I told them well good for you. I’m not paying $2839 for a small package. They said we can’t return it and if you don’t pay and once the insurance expires the bill will increase. The guy that I was talking to asked if I received the package. I told him no because they want me to pay for the package. I laughed when he told me pay for it and you can get the money from a brown envelope that is in the box. I said sorry still not paying for it. He was like I’m sorry, it’s my fault I forgot to tell you and still said. I was not going to pay for it. He said that they won’t sent it back to him because that is what they told him. I go yea they told you not me. Is this a scam? I’m kind of glad I didn’t pay them.
Not naive
November 23, 2021

In reply to by Suleyma

Same happened to me with the name Michael Chan from Scotland, UK. He was insisting on sending me gifts but then I have to pay for 250 usd to a shipping company CWALE EXPRESS, he told me beforehand that he is sending the money enclosed in a brown envelope to refund my expenses. But then the account details in which I had to pay is from India. I emailed the shipping company of what will be the next procedure after I payment in western union, he is not saying until it is paid and only telling me they are busy with other customers. I got a bad feeling of why they only contacted me in email and not on my mobile where it should be paid upon delivery. One thing I also found out that it is against almost of the shipping company to have a money enclosed in a parcel, so my thoughts are cleared that it is a scam.
jimmy
December 28, 2020
May I ask, if i were a receiver of the package...is there something that i must pay for?
Ash
December 31, 2020
Please help for my cousin because she have a boy from USA and he send a package here in Philippines that the package from US was already here in Philippines and it was onhold in the Airport cause i need to pay the taxes and charges of the cargo box. ELEGANCE FREIGHT LOGISTICS AIR CARGO shipment a scam? And saying i need to pay 25,000 so that they will deliver the package if not, they will open it and never give the package. And the company address was in Davao and will send the money through Gcash , she paid already 25,000 but then the Cargo ask to pay another 65,000.. Can possible to get back the 25,000 who already paid her?
Teirralur
March 22, 2021

In reply to by Ash

Is that boy from Germany? I guess me and your cousin is experiencing the same situation now. I was sent some package. And what makes me wonder is that, packages coming outside the countries will take one to 3 months to be delivered but it only took 2 days for me and asking for 15550 USD as Custom clearance fee for my package to be released. We met a week ago and he kept on telling me sweet words and messages.
UKdatingidiot
January 03, 2021
He is I met an online friend via dating app. This guy is from UK and started by introduced himself with sad story, he used to sent a sweet messages on day and night for me. Few day later, he sent me a message:” I came across some beautiful items and I picked it up for you”, asked me to sent my full name and address info to him. He told me he inserted local delivery fees inside the parcel and asked me no worries. Today I was informed the parcel reach at Malaysia customs for clearance and the courier person asking me to pay the local delivery fees to the remittance account that he sent to me. I feels something is fishy, so I try to search around the web source and information about the courier company: grant express services, google display invalid url, Thanks to google and information shared by everyone here. Thanks a lot
Hopeless907
January 20, 2021
I had a friend send me some thing from Yemen and had the shipping company called Xepressgo Courier, the company only deals with email no phone number on the email can't find a web site for them. I would get a email letting me know the tracking of the item... seeing as it traveled, but now it said it made it to the USA and is being held in Des Moines International Airport. asking me to pay a $3550.00 fee for Custom clearance and delivery services fee. I can not find anything on the web about this company.... and is this a normal fee when something is sent international? Any help is greatly appertained. Thank you Hopeless 907
Noah2380
February 16, 2021

In reply to by Hopeless907

can i ask whats his name i met someone that aaid he was working in Yemen
Luisa
January 25, 2021
Hallo. I bought a Canon camera a few days ago from Spain, by Alibaba. Whn we started a chat the seller asked me for my full name, adress, email and phone number and started to talk and write on whassap. I sent the price for one unit by Moneygram, and a bit later Iwas said I would receive 35 units for a lot of money. As I said no and talk to him, he told me some next day I sould receive just one, but i hade to pay more money to get the pack released in Germany. Tracking number was different than the first time, amount of money for the fee was different, too. And the shipping company web doesn't work. Does Up Coast Courier shipping company exists, or I've been a victim of scam?