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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

Cvs7 (not verified)
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 (not verified)
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 (not verified)
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 (not verified)
January 30, 2020

In reply to by Jealina joli (not verified)

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.
pt (not verified)
January 22, 2020
Received a text from 1 323 420-5936 scam!!!
AQL (not verified)
January 23, 2020
someone emailed me and believed he is real manipulated my feelings and he said he send me some stuff. Now he is asking for money to pay taxes before it will be deliver to me. Now he is threatening me that he knows where I am located for insulting me thag I told him that he just fooled me and he is just scamming people. Please help me what should I do.
cnicole (not verified)
January 26, 2020
I receive these texts on a daily basis sometimes 2-3 times a day. Can anyone please tell me how to make this stop? I block one number and get it from another. Please help !!!
Queenie (not verified)
February 04, 2020
Please help me maybe I am scam. My friend in Florida tell me that he sent something for me through excellent express courier, yesterday I received a message and email that my package reached in my country but it can't be delivered because I need to pay some charges worth P17650. I trace the tracking number but it can't found. My friend want me to pay for it so that the will be deliver to me. Please help on what to do...
FTC Staff
February 28, 2020

In reply to by Queenie (not verified)

Yes, this might be a scam. Some scammers start this when they meet online. They promise to send a gift package. But when the package arrives, the courier says you must pay a fee.  

Really, there is no package. The person you are met online is working with the fake courier service. They are trying to get your money. If you pay one time, they will ask for more money. Really, there is no package. You can stop talking to the courier. You can block the person online. You don't have to pay. 

Pate (not verified)
May 04, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

This is a clear info, and that's true.. thanks , and I have realized a lot.
Shakir (not verified)
August 19, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

Can we do chat please.i experienxed this right now..pls..i was bothered if this is true or not..because that man send me an receipt that he sent me a package.and then the corrier chatted me at watsapp that i should pay the amount of 15,000 for extra charges,insurance.etc.then after a day they chatted me again to pay 20,000 because the BOC scNned that there is a koney inside that packGe.so i paid again and then tell me no worries your package will areive start tomorrow after 2 days your package already at your doorstep..and then morning they chatted me again to pay 15,000 for local transportation..damn!! It costs a lot for me.please help me and advise
Annie (not verified)
September 18, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

I met someone from dating app also a few months of exchanging e-mails he said he bought gifts for me. MEGA FAST COURIER I TRACK AND TRACE THE PACKAGE ON THE SITE AND ITS THERE BUT WHEN IT HAS ARRIVED MACTAN CEBU ITS (STATED THAT THE PACKAGE IS ON HOLD FOR LOCAL TAX CLEARANCE OF P16,000.00 ) I RECEIVED AN EMAIL STATING THAT THE PACKAGE CONTENT WERE EXPENSIVE AND NEED TO GO UNDER SOME LEGALITIES ETC.. Well it's been days now I don't pay for it coz I really can't pay for it. I just told him that I'll just wait for him til he reaches the port to send me money to pay that tax clearance. I even ask a guy friend of mine in NBI and said it could be a Love scam and Nigerian guys were doing this stuff.
Rea (not verified)
October 09, 2020

In reply to by Annie (not verified)

I was a victim of this Fake Fast Courier Services, can we file a case for them, I will cooperate.
cat (not verified)
February 05, 2020
same here also..this guy..asking me to pay.2000sgd so i can recieve the package..what im gonna to do..help me..he threatend me also..
BE AWARE (not verified)
March 09, 2020
Pills Regaway stole me 300 euros and now I have this from fraud non existant company with the funny fake name novanexpress. Dear Client, Your parcel successfully arrived Greece - Athens. Your parcel was supposed to have been custom controlled and left for delivery. But it can't be delivered to you except you present a valid Certificate which shows that you have the right to import ''MONJA BLANCA'' as labeled on your parcel to Greece then the parcel will be released to you immediately. This is accordance to the new Greek Quarantine Laws on the importation of foreign non traditional species samples extracts(In addition to the Phyto sanitary Reports and Certificate which has already been presented on your package). If not we will have to leave the package to the quarantine for further analysis and checkup, or you pay a sum of €200 for a Quarantine Certificate before the parcels can be delivered to you.This will be your personal document for further international shipments which expires after 10 years.Then your parcels will immediately leave for your address. Please we need your fast respond to this. Thanks Yours faithfully Insurance Sector Novan Express Delivery BE AWARE!!!
MargaretC (not verified)
February 11, 2020
I have gotten several: FINAL ALERT: Margaret, please check your delivery details for package ID:173A4 HERE: with a link sender: AMAZON. Reply STOP to mute I have simply deleted the messages, but they are annoying and i would like them to STOP. :-)
Jilleddie 10Do… (not verified)
February 12, 2020
I keep getting text messages asking me for $3 for shipping in order to deliver my parcel? They provide a tracking number and order number as well! When I try tracking it says the number cannot be found. A link is provided which leads directly to asking for payment info. A Canada post logo is used and tells me my pkg is in Toronto? Not sure what this is!
Hafeezah (not verified)
February 12, 2020
How about if you get a phone call and when you answer the phone they hang up, then text you back saying your package is being held for $1,000. dollars in New York Airport. But they're calling from Luther OK.
Honey28 (not verified)
February 14, 2020
I have friend his working army and he say he want something to send to me about parcel express but the problem they ask money to pay for delivery I know this is scam cos even friend u cannot trust to send u something important documents
Sabrina White (not verified)
February 15, 2020
I received a text message on my cell phone at 6:45 a.m. stating that my car was brought in for repairs I don't even own a car. The message had a link in it" pack name . Online " of course I think is all one word no spaces it's a phishing scam thank you.
123 girl (not verified)
February 16, 2020
THIRD ALERT: (Name)please review your delivery details for package ID: (5RNumber)HERE: (k9env)and code Sender: AMAZON . I haven’t ordered anything from Amazon but I got codes and things that look legitimate that came from a phone number This is definitely fraud +1 (657) 397-8651
Elle (not verified)
February 17, 2020
I think this is happening to me now. Met someone online then says they trust me and have sent me a package. The package is held in Hawaii first and now with customs in Samoa. I recently paid part of customs fee but money was returned as they said they didn't have an available agent. They asked me to resend it to another agent. I'm not going to send it but what I want to know is do you have any advice on how to get out of this?
Worried (not verified)
February 17, 2020
I have a package being delivered to me in Australia from Syria by FedEx but held up in customs asking me to pay over $10,000 to have it passed is this usually the normal fee
banothjawahar5 (not verified)
October 27, 2020

In reply to by Worried (not verified)

The same problem iam facing now.is it true,we have to pay for the equipment s that get stuck in the custom problem.please help me out
mary (not verified)
February 20, 2020
hi, i just receive a message to that he will send something and i will receive it within 5 days and courier is zippyexpress courier service and he give me the code i track it then i see but still i have doubts, is this a legit? reading everything looks like the same experience on me rightnow.. hope someone answers need ideas, thoughts
Tin (not verified)
May 14, 2020

In reply to by mary (not verified)

Hi,we have the same courier... When you check the tracking number in zippy it is legit.. Have you receive your package??
Miss (not verified)
June 08, 2020

In reply to by mary (not verified)

Hi.. i think we are in same expirience.. what happen to your pacage now??
Anitta (not verified)
February 21, 2020
I know someone online then he asked me about my real name and my address in order to give some gift. Then he send me the tracking ID and the company ask me for 1000$ for shipping. He ask me to give them first then he will give me back. Is it scam right? can anyone help me? like how ?because that company said that if i don't pay the police will go to that address.Please help me
FTC Staff
February 28, 2020

In reply to by Anitta (not verified)

This looks like a scam. The man is telling a story and trying to take your money. You can tell the company no, and stop talking to the company. The company can't make you pay. The company can't send the police to your house. 

Queen (not verified)
April 25, 2020

In reply to by Anitta (not verified)

Hello can someone verify if zippycourierexpressservices is real ? Someone sent a package for me then he give the site along the tracking number when i check there is but still doubting.
I'm a dope (not verified)
February 28, 2020
Ive been waiting on a package from Utah and when tracking number had shown that it arrived at an airport that is literally half a mile from my home Now the delivery company bevel logistics had said in order to deliver this package for insurance purposes I need to pay that would be refunded to me. So I paid not thinking anything of it Then an hour later I get the same email saying that I had to pay more money because the package contains something illegal.. I contacted the seller and they had advised me to pay or I can get arrested Didn't know ordering hemp product was illegal What should I do
Another dope (not verified)
March 08, 2020

In reply to by I'm a dope (not verified)

I too have received a message from the same people and I too was a dope and sent money as well and got more messages that said the same thing about illegal stiff. Yhry have sent messages with DHL and USPS discrete mail partner as emails. I too am wondering what I'm supposed to do. They have gotten a lot of money from me I'm so stupid.
Fad (not verified)
February 25, 2020
I have just received an email from the zippy courier express stating that a consignment sent by J has been arrived in Coron Palawan and they are asking me to pay 16,300 pesos for the clearance and tax for the realeasing of the container. The sender had emailed me with the attached photos of the items and the receipts of puchased. The container contained auctioned home appliances that worth 60k almost. Is the company legit? I wanna know please.. Thank you
Belen (not verified)
February 27, 2020

In reply to by Fad (not verified)

Same scenario ma'am. Last February 26, i also received emails from that courier. Same package same location. Please dont give any amount to them.
Steve (not verified)
April 06, 2020

In reply to by Fad (not verified)

Same here... The representative of that courier call me and ask me to pay 16300 but i ask one of my source about that courier and they say its not dti registered...and they're using dummmy website to scam innocent people
Lhiz (not verified)
September 20, 2020

In reply to by rosefaustorill… (not verified)

I been chat also in the name of Richard, 4-5 months we used to chat, he asked me to marry him so i accept, one lawyer send me email asking me to sign to proceed fiancee visa, we have a nig arguement as he wrong send on me one time and suddenly he said he send sole expensive stuff i didnt ask for that but he insist, at the end im asking him a tracking number as the number he gave to me can trace only on that link he send also, but if u will open it to google it cannot open....until i ask him carrier name and deliver....after that he lost suddenly
eggnog (not verified)
May 07, 2020

In reply to by Fad (not verified)

i have a friend in U S A he send a cargo,,in then the cargo is already here in philppines..but the boker call me i have to pay 16300 for the clearance..i think dis is scum.will u pls help me
Lopkoser (not verified)
May 16, 2020

In reply to by eggnog (not verified)

MINE ALSO JUST THIS MORNING I NEED TO PAY THE CLEARANCE BEFORE I GET THE PACKAGE GOING TO PAY 10,675. HELP! I MET HIM ONLINE HE SEND STUFFS TO ME
Mia (not verified)
May 17, 2020

In reply to by Fad (not verified)

Have you tried tracking that package? I'm the official website of the courier? I'm curious bout it
Mia (not verified)
May 17, 2020

In reply to by Fad (not verified)

Hi, I was just wondering what's the name of the sender? I am in the same situation right now, what's the update?
Claudia (not verified)
June 30, 2020

In reply to by Fad (not verified)

I had a match on Tinder with a guy and started to communicate with him and we share our phone numbers. After almost 3 months chat and calls he want to surprise me... Then I got a mail from ZippyExpress Courier Services (Fake company, but they created a false website which was existing for few days, till I checked my tracking nr... But now the page does not exists anymore) that I need to pay 1200 USD for the fee... This is where things started to get suspicious and started to detect what's going on. When I asked what's going on then he immediately blocked my everywhere. But before that he tried to make me remorse for how bad a person I am ... After all, he spends a lot of money on me and I just have to pay that "small amount" because otherwise I will lose all the gifts... Be very careful because they can go any length and play for 3 months like in a fairy tale ...
Nixelle (not verified)
August 27, 2020

In reply to by Claudia (not verified)

i think this is happening to me too...may i know the name of the person?
May ann (not verified)
December 15, 2021

In reply to by Nixelle (not verified)

I'm also experiencing it right now. I meet someone in Zone app. it's like a dating app. Then he ask me to be his girlfriend, then out of curiosity, I said yes. Then after 3 days, he said that he has a big surprise for me. He said that, he is going to shopping and shop for me. He even sent a video then pictures of the items that he bought for me. But I keep refusing him. He get mad at me, and telling me that his angry, b'coz I keep refusing his gift. Then I said, ok it's up to you, but I told him that I can't repay him, and I Did not ask for anything by the way. Then he said that I don't have to repay him. So I trusted him. And now someone message me on Whatsapp that I have a package from UK from (James Morgan) .. but in order to received the package, I'm going to pay 15,000 pesos. So I keep asking them why should I pay for it. Then the FPD delivery company said, that it's for the clearance tax.. I keep questioning the said company, and suddenly they get angry. Then I told them that I don't have money to pay for the package. Suddenly they told me that I can pay the minimum amount of 10,000 pesos if I can't afford to pay 15,000 pesos, in order for them to deliver the package. I also requested, if it's ok if they deliver the package here in my location, then that's the time that I will pay for the clearance tax. But they get more angry, telling me that I'm out of my mind. Do help me, if this is a legit one or a scam??
milarose_08 (not verified)
July 01, 2020

In reply to by Fad (not verified)

Same here...that's the exact wording and courier company who had been emailing me to pay the clearance before delivering the package and I think we have same person who do that cause his surname start with letter J also...now I know that its a scam....thanks for this site..it lighten my mind not to believe on those stuff