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Fa-la-la-la fake, spot bogus shipping notices

On the 5th day of Consumer Protection, you get an email or text message that’s supposedly from UPS or FedEx, complete with one of their logos — and it seems legit. It says your item is ready to ship but you need to update your shipping preferences. But here’s the lump of coal: the message is bogus and there is no package. Scammers are phishing for your information. And if you click on a link or download the attachment, you’re likely to end up with a virus or malware on your device that steal your identity and your passwords.

Avoid any holiday reindeer-livery confusion and follow these tips:

  • The weakest link. Don’t click. If you get an unexpected email or text message, don’t click on any links — or open any attachments. If you think it could be legit, contact the company using a website or phone number you know is real. Don’t use the information in the email or text message.
  • Mal where? Guard against malware. Make sure you keep your software up to date. Set your security software, internet browser, and operating system (like Windows or Mac OS X) to update automatically.
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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.
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December 10, 2020
Thank you for alerting me to this! I get legitimate emails from shippers, including UPS and FedEx, and would never have been on the lookout for fake messages, especially if I see the company logo. Good work, FTC Consumer Protection!
Kathy 1028
December 10, 2020
I receive text messages almost every day telling me UPS has a package for me but they need more info to deliver it to my home I’ve tried blocking them but they still get through
Ruby Courey
December 10, 2020
I got one of those. Did not recognize the numbers, so I sent it to trash. Went through my Trash and deleted all of those too.
December 10, 2020
I just received a text message that says quote “ because of the pandemic, Netflix is giving out one year free subscription to all customers “ and a link was provided which seemed very outrageous. Instinct told me immediately it’s a scam. I think more is to be done to put this scammers through serious consequences, right now they are on the increase
December 10, 2020
facebook is also getting hacked. You will get a friends notice and you are already a friend - and then the message will say "How are you" did you see your name on PCH?" You ask what that stands for and they tell you Publisher Clearing House - that they won 150k and you also won - then they send you a link to check it out. Since I thought it looked bogus and the friend was a mascot at my High School - I asked what the school colors were and they said - too long ago I don't remember. Then I knew it was a bogus/scam message.
December 16, 2020

In reply to by Caren

Yes I got this one too and after I asked about his wife the response was strange - I didn't even get to the PCH question before it felt very weird... Blocked and Delete. Im sooo tired of these attempts and it feels never ending.
December 10, 2020
I receive these texts very often.
S Raven
December 11, 2020

In reply to by Gatlingjr

I get them too, now we are having problems with real estate agents wanting to buy our house, it's not on the market but we're bombarded by those calls, I filed a complaint to the attorney general and told him everything, it not only us getting these calls everyone in my town is getting them also. it's annoying!
December 10, 2020
Yes, I have received many of these type of emails. Thank for informing us...
December 11, 2020
This information was timely. Both my husband and I received this text: UPS - shipment 1z31974 update - shipped! Review: k7fwn. info /Ze3eVlkKf1
December 10, 2020
I've been getting these messages for well over 5 months, but since I use a flip-phone with no internet capability and after having typed their flimsy tiny bit URL onto my browser, it comes back as non-existent. I Block and mute the sender, but am also miffed at my cell phone provider for selling my number to anyone with the $$$ to buy it. Putting a stop to cell providers who are being paid by their subscriber's fees. There needs to be a way of putting a permanent stop to their blatant disregard for individuals rigths.
December 10, 2020
I’ve been asked to magnetic signs on my car to advertise a Budweiser, the company Villa Lighting Supply sent me a check said to deposit it into my account and send them a text with a copy of my deposit slip then keep $500 plus $50 and give the rest to the company that’ll contact me about delivering the signs. This sounds fishy; is it?
Bibi 07
December 10, 2020
Thanks for the good work all of you there are doing. We got many of those msg on our cells and deleted all; when we order, we keep that number and track ... But 1 cell is "pay-as-u-go,"; each msg received ,cost us 20c '.;but we think Mom needs a cell for emergency when she goes we keep that cell. Stay safe- we need you!
Suspicious consumer
December 10, 2020
As an alert consumer, know what merchandise and orders you and your family are expecting and by what carriers.
Linda Lou
December 10, 2020
I had several emails saying that they were Fed X. Since I had not sent anything and wasn't expecting anything, luckily I just deleted them. Thanks for the warnings.
mike h
December 10, 2020

In reply to by Linda Lou

problem is, at this time of year people send gifts by 'carriers' and u don't know if they didn't tell u ....typical in the past
mike h
December 11, 2020
Inundated with SCAM Emails UPS Gift Card ! 95$ survey on and on Norton Virus and McAffie ....etc
December 10, 2020
I received an email from "Amazon" once telling me that my order had been received for an iPhone 12 and that approximately $1,200 had been charged to my bank debit card. It provided a phone number and I made the mistake of calling the number. When the guy answered and said "customer service" I said wrong number and hung up. I then called Amazon's real phone number and the lady told me it was probably a scam and helped me change my password. I also changed my password for my email. I checked my bank account and there was no such transaction. Be careful, scammers are getting bolder...
John Skiba
December 10, 2020
I get emails once in a while stating my package is ready to be shipped and I need to update my preferences. Gee! That's funny. I didn't order anything.
December 11, 2020
I too have gotten these kinds of notices at least weekly if not more often. So glad I have had the sense not to 'click' or 'open' and to have it verified as a scam is worth knowing. Your alerts are so beneficial!
December 11, 2020
I recently received a text message similar to the example. I deleted it.
UPS you have a…
December 11, 2020
I get Text messages all the time from no one in my contacts. I see it has an attachment. I just Delete it and not even open to see what it may say.
December 12, 2020
I like the ones(sarcastically speaking) that email you and tell you that your credit card account has been locked or limited for some reason and you should contact them at such and such phone number.The funny,but no so funny,thing is you/I don't even have that company's credit card to begin with.
December 12, 2020
Yes, It happened to me last year. Thank you for your warning. We need more protection from goverment on this sort of thieves. Please please help general public.
Annoyed in Colo.
December 12, 2020
Just this week I received a real looking email from UPS. It said they tried to deliver last night at (time) but more one was home. Not true. Also that if I didn't contact them to deliver within 21 days it would go back to the receiver. Last year I got one with real-looking logo from the post office. I didn't see that the sender's address was .net instead of .org. I didn't respond to the email, but I drove to the post office to check it out. The clerk pointed out it was fake. Since then I have even received texts with a friend's profile picture. It would start with How are you? I responded about my recent back surgery. With the next text I knew something was up. I got a message about a gov't program that would pay my caregiver. Then a picture of a sleazy looking guy with an web address and how he could help me fill out the forms. The thing is there is really such a program which said that people often scam them to collect money. Immediately I called this old friend and let her know someone had hacked her.
December 14, 2020
I am usually savvy enough not to click open such text messages, but one early morning a few weeks ago, while I was still half asleep, I did click on a text supposedly from UPS. Then almost immediately I realized what I did and closed the browser that had begun to Open, and then I deleted the text. I hope it wasn’t enough time for them to put malware on my phone.
December 15, 2020
I was selling my daughters wedding dress on FB buy sell or trade for our area and someone out of state offered to buy it by using Pay Pal but I had to send it 1st before I received payment. I sent it then sent them the confirmation and cost me $169 dollars to mail it Express and never saw a dime nor did they accept the dress and I got it back. Never again I will only do local sale and cash only. Lesson Learned.