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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 or call 1-800-ASK-USPS.

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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

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.

March 16, 2020
I do not revive my package from delivery courier and mark as delevered phone no 9740449629
March 30, 2020
Hi , hve a good day , I will just ask about the my package sent to me, by a friend from USA , he gve to me the tracking # and the website to track the # then i try it & i thought its legit bcoz everytime i track that # hve a result , then after 3-4 days just now i track it but in my tracking sheEt indicates that my packages is on hold by the customs bcoz need to pay the clearance for 16, 000 it is a scam or what, although until now no one send me a msge for such that clearance to pay, it is legit or scam ?? tnx hope for ur respond.. Godbless
Rubzz Baquira…
April 03, 2020
Hello good day I have a guy meet in online. And he said he send me a package.. Here in hongkong then the following day the courier services call me that the packages is arrive here in hongkong but I need to pay $20,000 HKD. And the guy that I meet online keep on telling me to get the package... And courier keep on calling me about the package and they tell me if I cannot pay I'll be going to jail for 10 years please I need your advice. That guy know my name and address.. What do you think is this a scam
April 16, 2020
Hi, My friend met someone from online she said that the guy he met is will be sending gifts to her but the courier is asking a shipping fee amounting $1,550 before the items to be delivered. Is this scam?
April 16, 2020
I have been talking with a guy for about a week or so. He said he sent me a package and will arrive today. The person called me to claim it but I have to pay like $500 dollars. And I told the man about it he said thay I should borrow money from friends and so on and he will pay me when we meet. I felt awkward so I think it's a scam, isn't it? Is it possible to tell or report it to authorities?
April 16, 2020
I would like ask if this truely scam,,I have known 1 celebrity in Los Angeles c.a ..USA,,she promised that she will give me a gift with money and send it courier service company, she get all my details and registered it,,in the courier, and she said that i’ll Pay 1500 US dollars for the local fee and 3000 USD for the sender, that’s why I pay the 1500 to a bank account of their manager,,that’s why they started to delivered here in New Zealand, after 48 hrs? I will recieved the packaged, but after 24 hrs, i recieved an e-mail from the courier that my package was hold by the costum because they scanned that there’s a money inside,,and some of their agents are arrested and the package to be in jail? That’s why I need to pay the bailing fee for 1200 USD for after 14 days as quickly as I can otherwise i’ll Be in jail? Is this a truely scam? Pls. Response
Donn't use you…
April 17, 2020
Ive had 2 texts the first yesterday saying that my package is ready for delivery here and today saying they have added 3200 GBP on my account saying Get it here
April 19, 2020
omg this is happening to me right now.. i meet at guy in social media recently..i was wondering why he trust me so fast to send me his money nd important doc. he told me a story and ask me to help him.. he want me to email the courier to retrieved his the package..and make an arrangement..but i dont reply him and start doubting if this is a kind of scam nd i dont open any link he send me. and i thankful and get an idea to search into the google what's going on. and that's it iam aware now..
April 20, 2020
Hello just need your help. Someone email me in gmail that I received a consignment yesterday that I need to pay for and I keep asking them I didn't order anything. A foreigner email me that his consignment has arrived in the Philippines and he need my help to pay it first. he said he is a US soldier and he is interested in me that is why he send a cargo or parcel. I didn't believe him but the company and that foreigner keeps on sending email that I need to pay something or else they will sue me. Is Zippy Courier Express legit? Need your help guys. Thank you
April 22, 2020
Hi, I met someone from online.He told me that he will send me a package/gifts.Then one night he told me he already asked his assistant to deliver the package then after a few minutes I received an email from the courier saying that they were contacting me pertaining on the consignment placed under my name.From that email a tracking # and link of the site were provided wherein I can monitor the shipment status. After an hour this man called me to write back and confirm the details,I actually did.Next day he told me that he noticed that the items are on hold.He asked me to email the courier and on that day I got a response saying that I should have to pay first the shipment fee amounting $1,550 before they will ship the items.I immediately texted him as I was shocked the amount(fee) converted in our currency is quite huge. I sent a lot of queries to this courier and they just provided me the remittance details from third party / personal account.I emailed back and asked why should I remit in a personal account and they said that's an account of their international diplomat. From the back of my mind this is absolutely a scam. That's why I asked some of my friends if this is a legit process. They'd advised me to email the legit courier.I googled their email address and I emailed them to verify if the remittance details are legit. They respond after 6 days saying that they have a lot of branch in the US and has a note of payment of delivery is not made by the third party. After I read the message I felt at ease and I emailed twice to asked if it's normal that the receiver is the one who pay for the shipment fee and if there's a legit items to be shipped in our country provided the address and sender name. I was really disappointed when I read his email saying - If you confirm your readiness to make the payment , then we shall put the luggage on our cargo and give you a tracking number of the luggage to enable you track the consignment However as soon as we send you the tracking number then you will make the payment of 1000$ to the name that will be provided to you As soon as you make the payment then we shall deliver the consignment to your door step when it arrives your country. You will be able to track the luggage through our online tracking system Seems this is really a scam. Seeking your thoughts about this. Thanks.
Joseph Garrison
April 24, 2020
Regardless, the recipients of the anonymous packages found them at first to be a source of amusement and now find them to be more creepy than fun.
May 04, 2020
In my experience, he told me that he will send an auction home appliances for our business, when I asked the receipt he gave me the screenshot. And he is from california btw. A military and he is now heading to syria to complete his assignment there. When I checked the receipt I got surprised the quantity of items, since lockdown this time where i could store items. Just imagine a 40ft container van? Then he wants to be delivered directly to my home address, just imagine that. It's just 1 week expected it will deliver door to door services through zippy courier express services. Then right now, he said the shipping company here in the Philippines will ask 17,000 for the shipping fee.. he don't want any excuses.. he asked to gather that amount. the more i doubt.. how legit is it?
April 09, 2021

In reply to by Pate

Hi, this is fake! Dont fall for it! My mother was a victim too . Same situation! But different name shipping company is standard cargo services. There is a tracking number and website that looks legit. But after a few days the shipment is gone. Good thing that my mom did not pay anything.
May 07, 2020
Pls is there any air express cargo from USA that lands today in Abuja, cos someone sent me a package to receive from there want to know if it is reall
won’t do again
May 22, 2020
I ordered something from California and got a tracking number with the website usposta gency. com/ (royal postage agency) The package is discreet. I check the status and it says on hold. It turns out I had two missed calls from the uspostage. I call the guy I ordered from and he says call the postage so I did and this Indian guy comes on saying to email him, when I email asking why my package is on hold he says I need to pay $850 US cargo insurance fee via cash app or PayPal family Friends, zelle, money gram . This was for for safety due to COVID virus per the postage but it would be refundable, I did Like an idiot and they said package will arrive next morning, never did. I tried calling and Indian guy says there’s a problem and to check my email never got it he then said to email him info @uspost agency. com and the email stated I had to pay 1500 for customs clearance or they will hand my package to authorities. When I went back to the seller he said it’s not a scam and if the package is caught I could go to jail per his lawyer. This has to be a scam right?
Stupidity 101
May 30, 2020

In reply to by won’t do again

Did you ever get your package? I had a similar issue happen to me not sure if it is a scam or not.
November 29, 2021

In reply to by Anne

Did you get your money back from your bank? I lost $93,000. I’m waiting to see if my bank will give me any money back. All money was done by wire transfer.
May 22, 2020
Please i have been sent iphones and the company says i should pay the money before the package will be delivered am scared
May 13, 2020
Hi I met a friend from US he send me a gift like jewelries and gadget and 2days from now it will deliver but i have to pay remaining balance for delivery fee worth 650USD.. He also send me a tracking number and i try to check it to track my parcel but it is not exist.. Now i know it is scam.. Thank u for information
June 01, 2020

In reply to by Jhane

The same thing happened to me, but the guy was from the UK.
Scumbag scammers
May 24, 2020
I think I have been hoodwinked, y'all. I ordered a discreet package from California and paid the seller for it directly through the Cash app. They sent me tracking info and everything, looked legit (even though I never heard of the freight company: VSD Cargo). And then tt showed that the package arrived at my local airport but that it was "On Hold" and I would have to pay $110 that day for a 'city permit' to get it. So this seemed like a huge red flag, especially since they wanted it paid to the seller through the Cash app again. I have a strong feeling that even if I pay I wont get my goods. Does this sound like an elaborate scamming situation??
Please help me
July 11, 2020

In reply to by Scumbag scammers

I'm on the same boat.can someone help me what to do ..VSD Cargo is the link I'm provided with and also got a tracking number..I have already paid a lot and now asking me to pay double for custom clearance.if I don't pay so , there will be a penalty on me .. please help me.
Eddie Guererro
July 12, 2020

In reply to by Scumbag scammers

Just happened to me too. My package got stuck at MS and "seller" said I needed to contact "shipper" through their WhatsApp and pay a $150 city permit. Maybe if they had just said they encountered shipping issues and needed extra money for freight they may have got me. These people are scum.
May 26, 2020
Text message I got today beware it is a scam: Your package got returned as door was closed .Please track it and accept at .
May 27, 2020
Hi I have a chat mate from Uk? He say that he go shopping for me,and he send a lot of picture like gadgets,jewelries,and perfumes, bags and shoes then he say to send it to me, i said no but he said i need to recieve it to prove that he loved me, i said again dont send it to me,but he said already sent, you need to pay the delivery fee he send also the tracking number but after i track i can see the details , the delivery date he send 05/27/20 and expected delivery date is 05/29/20 and i was thinking this is a scam because i know if the package is from overseas it is been a month before arrived? Please help how can i do,i was scared
August 01, 2021

In reply to by Sharla

What is this guys name. I am having the same issue right now. It is the exact thing you went thru. Does he work on a ship?
Ms. Libra
October 13, 2021

In reply to by Sharla

I had the same experience Ms. Sharla. The guy is from UK also. He said he is a pilot. After a week of exchanging messages in Whatsapp he said he will go shopping and send to the courier and expect it to deliver in 2 days. He send me videos of the gifts he said was for me. I believed him...The customs asked me to pay 35K for Clearance taxes..they found out that the package have a lot of money and ask me to pay the anti-money laundering certificate so that my package will be delivered to me......after paying they keep on asking for other taxes which I send only thru Gcash of different people.. I lost my money..I didn't know it was a scam. Until I realized when they demand me for 500k or I will be send to jail. I was afraid...and when I search the package scams here..I've learned my lessons. I deleted my whatsapp account and blocked those people.
May 30, 2020
How to stop ttexes all time every day
June 02, 2020
my gf in usa sends me staff the package is in the philippines already to the warehouse. I will but the company name city express delivery asking me i have to pay 27,000pesos philippine money for them to deliver it. I because of the taxes fee airport fees and everything. help me please
June 05, 2020
I have a friend. We chat at Gmail, then he try to get some of my information so that he will send me a package. He said that he send Gucci watch, 2 LV bags, 1 iphone X, Digital Camera and more. Then after 3days thers a message saying that i need to pay the clearance tax worth 15,700 and i tried to sent message in Nippon Cargo Airline, and they said i will send the payment in the bank Account of Officer. Is it scam?
July 09, 2020

In reply to by Nicky

Lol. We have the same package. So this looks like a scam. But anyway, I’m kinda suspicious of him. But anyway, if someone would ask me to send money I will gladly refer them to NBI. Hahaha
Jing Manila
August 04, 2020

In reply to by Nicky

Yes. Scammers and fake. Why someone you don't really know and never seen will give you expensive gifts then in the end will collect huge amount of clearing fee. If they're not fake, they will let you see their faces thru video call. Pls ladies, be more vigilant and wiser. A true and real love won't take a short term relationship. Trust and love will build more years before it involves money. Beware ladies.
September 14, 2020

In reply to by Nicky

i guess we have the same situation because we have the same package that will arrive tomorrow.. but i know its very impossible.. atleast im aware now.. can we stop them? so no one will going to be victim again?
bats i think
September 17, 2020

In reply to by Nicky

i think we have the same guy.. just recently he said that hes going to send me like those of what you had mentioned. i met him in dating apps. i was really surprise because it takes only maybe 12 days of exchanging messages then he said he has something for me.. i did not take it seriously but he posted the pics and the tracking number. so make short it after the 3-5days the is in the phil. and someone send me an email that i has to pay 12500 for clearance. the good thing is i dont a money. its the 2nd day now they still message me in my email when and what time im going to pay. thank God i read all of these. can you pls gave me the name of your chatmate maybe its the same person.
June 05, 2020
Keep getting e Mails from daily very team saying they have a I phone 11 package is this a scam have had 3 this week
June 10, 2020
Why do I have to pay R2550 for costume clearance
June 11, 2020
I would like to know if in courier delivery is legit
June 12, 2020
I have the same experience, someone contacted me through online we chatted first through gmail because of this job. he said his an American soldier named Christopher Baker 41 years old (I guess it’s made up namely) and will be retiring from military he is in Afghanistan right now, and we chatted for almost a month sharing Life’s and feelings to each other. after all the chatting he said he’s going to send me a package containing a large amount of money as an award Amounting to over 250,000 US dollars by the government of Afghanistan for protecting their citizens and keeping peace and that the package is for our future, That he will invest in my country and I will be the one to take care of it so we can live a happy life. He said he will come to my country after his retirement I just have to keep the package until he came. He ask for my phone number, complete address and name. After he sent the package and the receipt contains the information and courier he ask for my viber, I believed him not until someone texted me to pay for the package since it contains a box money . I have to pay for the duly and airport clearance tax free of 13,500 pesos .... so I told the person I chatted that they told me that I need to pay , so he told me to not let them open the package so In short he wants me to pay for the package I told him I don’t have the money to pay, he ask me to borrow money to my friend or family member. So I was hesitant so I keep tracking the package using the info he sent and I can’t find it , it doesn’t exist, I also search for the courier still doesn’t exist. until I ended up here...It was like I was struck by lighting and open my mind to all what really is happening. I was really falling for him I’m just so happy I found this page. it enlighten my mind, these kind of scam is just sickening I can’t barely stand it using feeling and compassion just awful. Thank you so much for this really help me to move on to him easily.
July 01, 2020
Hi just wanna ask if it's a scam. Coz i have met a guy from dating site and he ask my email... We exchanging messages in email but he ask my information coz he will send me a gift. Last night i recieved a mail from him that he already sent the parcel for me through this site he gave me http:// fastpostshipping. And he also give the tracking number so i know where is the parcel now. When i tracked it using the link he send and also the tracking number. Yes , i can see there is' on air' with his full name and address. My full name and address. .. i just wanna ask if it's real and not scam. This link http:// fastpostshipping.
July 06, 2020

In reply to by Chai

hi chai, you and my cousin have the same situation. the guys name is robert.right? . you cannot recieved the package unless you will send a money thru cebuana to wenelyn.
September 18, 2020

In reply to by sinners

Yeah her name is Wenelyn Blanco. They even gave me a call at morning then by afternoon I'm trying to call them but cannot be reached. I told them I asked for a friend in NBI to help me get the package since he knew some people working in mactan Cebu. They're not replying for now. The name of the guy is Roland D.
July 01, 2020
Hi. I received an email: EMS Express package delivery reminder. To receive your package, please log in to print this receipt and go to the nearest office. With the link: Click Here The sender email is: info1 @app. gbonhi. ci is it a virus or a scam?
Angry manchester
June 16, 2020
I’m waiting for a package and got txt saying I’d missed it with code to resche, code CS279003594D3, I clicked on and realised the delivery emblem was trying to look like DHL but it wasn’t so I clicked on dhl and discovered it wasn’t recognised so thus have realised this txt is a scam. What is wrong with these scammers eh, can’t they get a job and earn money like the rest of us instead of trying to steal our hard earn cash.
June 29, 2020
I received an email from “distribution centre” (info@ ) for a so called parcel that is being prepared in a warehouse and shipping needs to be paid before it is delivered. Has a link to “pay shipping” but it just flicks through a whole heap of website addresses and the email also has a legit looking address in it. (To opt-out please click here. Or write us to:609 Piner Road,Suite A #537, Wilmington, NC, 28409)
June 16, 2020
I have had one this morning, but I am due deliveries so I do not know if its real or fake. I am so sorry . Ummm i keep looking for ‘ DELIVERY EXPRESS DE GROUP but can not find . The tracking number is CS279003595DE
June 16, 2020
Talking to a man on Instagram had won the power ball mega million in 2019 . Kept say he won it was hinting around and saying he was giving $10,000 to the masses for people in need of help . Asked if I was in debt . I said No . That if you want o help someone he could help my sister out she had lots of medical and doctor bills. Said he would do whatever I asked . So I said help my sister . So yesterday I am to get a package with a safe a real safe suppose to be $10,000 cash in the safe . Upon arrival I dm to pay this to FedEx a man do calked Lemar Jamrs ph. Number is 857-367-8710 said he’s with FedEx . Upon delivery I am to pay for this safe box . A fee of This are the options ma’am for the delivery........ Gold Delivery (24hours)....$310 Silver Delivery (48hours)...$250 Bronze Delivery (52hours)...$200 Does FedEx have this service or not? I told the man not to deliver it to send it back to Mr. Charles W. Jackson Jr. out of North Carolina . His secretary suppose to be a Jessica Eliane from out of Corpus Christi Texas her oh number is 361-857-9421. She sends me this picture of a safe . I have the text messages . They have a small portion I was told I had to have proof of my address my SSN I said I don’t give my SSN to no one you . Have my address and small portion of my driver license showing only picture and address. Then I said to him .No I didn’t know it was a fee I wasn’t told. Then he give me the prices I sent you Bove. I said Mo send back to Mr. Charles. I refuse it just send it back to him. I text so called secretary and told her to . No send back to Mr. Charles . She say he on vacation. I ask for his address she No reply. Does FedEx have safe real safes package that they do like this? I think not. Please let me know answer on this page like you answer all the other people.
June 19, 2020
Hello can some one help or relate I bought something off this guy and he sent me it through citizen shippers I can see my order but it just says on hold
June 20, 2020
Are package clearance and refunds legit ?and is legit