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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

recio
October 25, 2019
i have aproblem with the package to be delivered they asking me money for the package to deliver it in my home address....do you think this is a scam..and they give me the bank account of the agent for him|or her to give clearance to deliver the pavkage
Charmaine
November 05, 2019
Trying to find out if Fast Trust Delivery Service is a legitimate company? They only have email listed for contact. No address. And they say package is being held up in Amsterdam Netherlands and 4,000.00 payment to customs. The package weighs a little over 28 lbs?
Nana
November 11, 2021

In reply to by Charmaine

I meet a friend and we had conversation almost 1 week and then he told me that he will send package ,he got my full name number and address ,and then he told me that he send thru Mediterranean shipping logistics and he gave me a tracking number ,I track the number looks like legit and then there's a expected delivery and then on that day I rcve an email frm Mediterranean shipping logistics that since the package inside is valuable things the hold the package and I need to pay 18,000 I got message to diff person aswell asking this money since the package arrives in Philippines frm united kingdom is it scam or legit
Jose
December 21, 2021

In reply to by Nana

I have a recent person who is interested in me from ohio and he told his friend from UK to send a parcel for me. The courier company ks Xpress courier uk. Im not sure if its a legit company. Tracking number is kinda legit. Tracking histories are also legit. Not it was held in spain and needed a non-inspection clearance certificate and i have to pay $500 or else they inspect it. Now my lover told me that they will held it if no clearance be shown. He's into crypto and trading is low that he cant pay the charges. I am starting to have doubts. There is the name of the secretary that I need to pay, Angela Clair Downes from reading uk. I tried to search for the person but it doesnt show. My loves insisting me to pay it or else his efforts will be gone because he has to pay for another shipping for it to come back. What should I do?
Lala
December 27, 2021

In reply to by Nana

Nana, can you tell me what happened? I am on the same dillema.
Daidz
January 05, 2022

In reply to by Nana

I also have the same senario,this guy i met online and we have a conversation,said he is from singapore and told me he will be sending package for my birthday is comming on the 13th this month.and sent me a couriers website and a tracking number.i checked it online and looks like legit too cause I saw my infos. There.then just now he sent me a message if the courier will ask for payment or charges i should pay.i asked him the pacakage reciept he said only the tracking number they gave him i got doubt now. He keep on telling me that i have to pay for the charges of the delivery will ask cause there is cash inside.oh my god is this a kind of a scam? The courier named RAYMETRO LOGISTIC DELIVERY anyone who heared this name??
Gor
March 22, 2022

In reply to by Nana

Did you get the package Nana? I got the same scenario.. also from UK
Ms.S17
November 06, 2019
I've recieved a message from the courier man that The package is now currently in Istanbul Turkey and the package from US and he need $750 for extra charge for my package so that it can be delivered to my doorstep where I am now.. Is it scam or no???. What should I do??.
Jose
December 23, 2021

In reply to by Ms.S17

So what's is a scam from who what shipping courier what's it supposedly
maru23
November 08, 2019
Should I pay 20,000pesos for tax clearance fee of the package sent from tunisia to Philippines ? Is it legitimate? Is it possible that a scammer might used the custom to scam people?
FTC Staff
November 08, 2019

In reply to by maru23

Yes, it is possible the scammer is pretending to be "Customs." Scammers say you must pay "customs fees" or "taxes" or other charges. They want to get your money. They make phone calls or send texts to scare you. You can say No and block the scammer. They promise to send you money or gold or jewelry in the package, but really, there is no package. This is all a story to make you pay money.

Scarlet
November 18, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

But what about he sends picture of gift and puts money on it. Is it still scam? He also gave me a website to track the package
Shahid Hasan
November 14, 2019
An online friend sent a parcel for me.She put a sealed envelope with money inside that parcel.i paid for the tax.later they asked money for euro tag.after that they asked money for imf.now they are asking for money again.what should I do?
FTC Staff
December 23, 2019

In reply to by Shahid Hasan

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

You meet someone online. They offer to send you a gift or valuable package. But when the package arrives, you must pay a fee or taxes to get the package. If you pay one fee, they may ask for more money.

Really, there is no package. 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.

Lisab
June 20, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

I got same situation 6 yrs ago.im still being scammed. They said since my name is on airway bill im guilty of money laundering. They keep having me pay to keep from going to jail for money laundry. Money all to Nigeria.
DunDunDuh!
September 20, 2020

In reply to by Lisab

Oooh yeah there are lots of fake military personnel! Or doctors they are savages! Don’t trust them!they come in all races and ages!
X008
February 20, 2021

In reply to by Lisab

Did you ever get charged for money laundering like being sent a legal notice?
Al
November 18, 2019
Can anyone tell me weather mintexpress delivery is a scam company
Scarlet
November 18, 2019
Just want to ask if Leads Express Courier is legit or scam? And need to pay 20,000 pesos when you receive the package?
Jane
December 14, 2019

In reply to by Scarlet

Same as me mam i also encounter that they want me to pay 35, 000 pesos thata why i wondered if it is true because he has a tracking number
Gaea
December 26, 2019

In reply to by Jane

Same experience! This guy I met on instagram told me he sent me a ring and money (with pictures attached). He kept telling me to track the package and to keep in touch with the courier. And today I received an email from Starlinks delivery that says: Good day ma'am, Your package is currently being held by the Turkish customs as they demand that all packages going across their border must be insured and cleared, You're here by required to pay the sum of $650, for clearance and insurance of your package. Thanks Now I realized that guy is a fraud..
Joygm
May 10, 2020

In reply to by Gaea

Hi, I also experienced the same. And he said that i need to Pay $2000 for the custom clearance fee. And the items in the "tracking number given" are all too good to be true. What did u do after u received that message that it was held by custom?
Chaku
August 01, 2020

In reply to by Joygm

Hi I had an similar issue some one text me about goods and they have told me that your good is on hold by border protection officer and then asking for tax and clearance fees . It’s fake
Jenny
October 30, 2021

In reply to by Gaea

Yes same experience! This guy I met in instagram seemed so decent but it shocked me when all of a sudden he wants to send gifts (jewelries and iphone12pro max) and he told me to contact the agent and strictly follow all their instructions blah blah blah and when it's my turned to contact the agent they told me the package is on hold in Istanbul Turkey airport and asked me to pay a total of 1400usd for ovt, delivery and tax fee to proceed with the delivery. What a fraud! I blocked him immediately. So guys beware of all of these scammers!
Candice
January 09, 2022

In reply to by Jenny

I believe we have the same guy I met him playing a game online, he seems nice and than all of a suddenly he tells me that he is sending me gifts consisting handbags, iPhone pro and money. In 4days time I received an email saying my gifts have arrived and I have to pay 1250usd. The agent told me I have to pay through his account and send him a picture of it. I asked if I could go in directly to pay he said no.
bob
December 26, 2021

In reply to by Scarlet

Same here, same company from London, after you pay them they keep on asking for another payment and there is no package arrived, I hope someday those person behind all of this will get what they deserve. They all use custom to threaten you so that you will pay them again and again, Learn from them and don't trust those people who don't meet personally. That Lead express Courier Services Company is a Big Scam so don't TRUST THEM.
bob
December 26, 2021

In reply to by Scarlet

Same here, same company from London, after you pay them they keep on asking for another payment and there is no package arrived, I hope someday those person behind all of this will get what they deserve. They all use custom to threaten you so that you will pay them again and again, Learn from them and don't trust those people who don't meet personally. That Lead express Courier Services Company is a Big Scam so don't TRUST THEM.May i know the name of the Guy who is Chatting with you from UK?Thank you
bob
December 26, 2021

In reply to by Scarlet

Same here, same company from London, after you pay them they keep on asking for another payment and there is no package arrived, I hope someday those person behind all of this will get what they deserve. They all use custom to threaten you so that you will pay them again and again, Learn from them and don't trust those people who don't meet personally. That Lead express Courier Services Company is a Big Scam so don't TRUST THEM.May i know the name of the Guy who is Chatting with you from UK?Thank you
sabel
April 29, 2022

In reply to by bob

same here he send me a packaged that full of things like gadgets and bag also jewerly but the next day they ask me to pay 15000 peso before he deliver my packaged so i blocked him his from london and name DANIEL CHEUNG

Joy
December 28, 2021

In reply to by Scarlet

I have some issue with same company,they ask me to be pay for tax and clearance and after paying them they ask me to pay for another payment but there is no package arrive.may I know the name of the one who sent you a package?
Joy
December 28, 2021

In reply to by Scarlet

I have some issue with same company,they ask me to be pay for tax and clearance and after paying them they ask me to pay for another payment but there is no package arrive.may I know the name of the one who sent you a package?
Sandki
November 18, 2019
I stupidl said i would receive a parcel containing an award, bu have had emails saying that the parcel contains money and jewels and it has been stopped in Germany after being checked. A person is saying I have to pay 2000 euros for it to be allowed to get through customs and if I dont pay in 5 days I will be reported to the German authorities. I wont and cant pay. I know it was silly of me to say I would take the parcel. I keep thinking scam and am hoping its a scam. How can I check if this is really going to happen. Thanks
AlnAdele
November 19, 2019
My wife received aa disturbing mail saying a package from the USA via the International Parcel Service was held up at Heathrow terminal 2. Seems it was an IPhone (Yes I've had this before from Tesco) and for a fee of $1 it would be released. To me this reeked of scam but my wife was impressed and wondered who in America had sent it. I assured her most strongly it was a scam. She was suitably shocked, worried and disappointed. The price of safety is eternal vigilance
Top22
November 20, 2019
Someone send a parcel to me,but he wants me to pay the charges before theyre going to deliver it to me,and the sender say he’s going to sue me if i didnt pay,and he use the address in wrong spelling,please answer my question
FTC Staff
December 23, 2019

In reply to by Top22

In the US, the law says you don't have to pay for a package that you didn't ask for. If a company mails some merchandise to you, and you didn't ask for it, you can keep it. You don't have to pay for it. You don't have to pay for the mailing. This article explains the law.

Nerdone01
November 26, 2019
One of them actually had my correct address one time. Should I be worried? A lot of black girls have been kidnapped lately
Vic earl
November 30, 2019
Hi is there an Express parcel delivered to the Philippines? Coming from UN?
Genne
December 06, 2019
Hello, please with what I have read so far; are you saying we are not suppose to pay for clearance fee for any parcel which is to be delivered to us?? Because a delivery company called Express Post just called me that I should pay for clearance fee for the parcel they have sent me. So I want to know if this is also a scam
FTC Staff
December 23, 2019

In reply to by Genne

Please decide for yourself about paying a clearance fee.

Sometimes a scammer tricks a person. He says he will send you a package with valuable goods like money, gold or jewelry. Then, you are told to pay customs, tax, certificates or other clearance charges. Even if you pay the charges, you do not get a package. There is no package. This is a scam to get your money.

Sometimes a scammer does not tell you a package is coming. You might be chatting with someone online, and then you get a notice from a delivery company to pick up a package. Then, your chat mate asks you to pick up the package as a favor. This could also be a scam to get your money. Use your judgement about paying fees for a package you did not order.

 

M_hend1978
December 29, 2019

In reply to by Genne

What happened? I received an email as well but the company want to give me an account number to pay the custom fees.
Bb
December 23, 2019
Hi I ordered tablets from Ukraine and the delivery company ukr delivery are saying I need to pay £750 import license to receive my package . Is this correct. ? I have already been scammed for £1500
FTC Staff
December 23, 2019

In reply to by Bb

If you have been scammed, please report that to the consumer protection agency in your home country.  You can ask your local consumer protection agency if the import license is legal.

Ukrscam?
January 19, 2020

In reply to by Bb

I just did the same thing about a week ago, then some guy claiming to be the logistics manager from Ukr Delivery emails me and says my package is on hold pending fees. He said that I will need to pay for a “universal import license” that costs 550 euros, and asked me to send it to someone with a different name using western union otherwise he will either destroy or confiscate my package. He claims I will get a full refund for the 550 euros as soon as I receive the package, but how will I know that this is legitimate? It says scam all over it but then the meds I bought are really important for my surgery, so I emailed Ukr Delivery on their website email, and currently waiting on a response. I’m hoping they will deliver it and charge me a small fee upon delivery like some other online orders I’ve made before. Can u tell me more about the email u received? Like the name of the person or other details so I can know if its the same guy? Thanks so much!
Jamient5
July 10, 2020

In reply to by Ukrscam?

Did you ever receive your package? I’m going through the same thing as we speak. I’ve sent $2000 to someone through the alibaba app who insisted he couldn’t take a payment through the app. Now he wants me to pay $660 for containers for the merchandise I purchased. I suppose next it will be fees. I was given a tracking number which seemed pretty leggit. Which is why I didn’t sweat it to much. But now he wants more and he wants me to send it too the shipping companies cash app. That through me off so I’ve emailed the shipping company and no response as well as the company he said he worked for. So far nothing! Just out of money that I didn’t have to throw away. I’m still in contact with this guy because I’m trying to make him feel like I don’t know he’s scamming me, but really what can I do? I’ll probably never see my money again as I paid through the cash app and this guy walks away with money it took me a month to make.
Rose
August 21, 2021

In reply to by Ukrscam?

I also receive a noticed that tibtex logistic will deliver a package from US and told me to pay 30000 pesos i failed to pay for 1 week but they keep on texting me that my package will be seized by the costum after a week i paid the costum fee through gcash when ininformed them that i already paid the 30000 they send me a message that the package was scanned by the custom and found out the US dollars is in the package and that i will be accused of money laundering if i will not pay 350000 pesos i told the courier that why should i be accused of money laundery to a package i have not received anyway....can i be accused of money laundering without receiving the money?
Mmj
September 19, 2021

In reply to by Rose

I have had a similar situation. A friend sent me a package from overseas but the courier charged 3000 in fees to pick it up, which I paid. The courier then emailed a photo of a legit looking document from the customs of Turkey which said I must pay 35,000 or I will be charged with money laundering. My friend sent clothes, purses, and did include some money in the package. I don’t even fully know what money laundering is or how to do it. Who can I check with on this? Is this legit?
Shristi chhetri
December 10, 2019
I need your help. My friend from Romania send me some gifts. I got a msg in whatsapp about my parcel. Do they really sent those text in whatsapp or am I being scammed? They are asking for a custome charge 17k.