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When you order something online, you might get several emails or text messages about your order: Confirming your order. Telling you it shipped. Saying it's out for delivery. Notifying you about delivery. Did you know that scammers send fake package shipment and delivery notifications to try to steal people's personal information — not just at the holidays, but all year long? Here's what you need to know to protect yourself from these scams.

The bogus stories the scammers deliver

The scammers send bogus messages by email or text. The message might say that you missed a delivery attempt and ask you to click on a link to re-schedule the delivery. Or it could say that your item is ready to ship but you need to update your shipping preferences. Some create a sense of urgency by saying if you don’t respond right away, they'll return your package to the sender.

They want you to click on the link without thinking about it and enter your personal or financial information. But the site is fake. A look-alike of a real website. And it’ll capture all the information you enter. The link could also install harmful malware on your phone or computer that steals your information. Things like your usernames and passwords to your online banking, email, or social media accounts that scammers could use to steal your identity and open new accounts in your name.

What to do

  • If you get a message about an unexpected package delivery that tells you to click on a link for some reason, don’t click.
  • If you think the message might be legitimate, contact the shipping company using a phone number or website you know is real. Don’t use the information in the message.
  • If you think it could be about something you recently ordered, go to the site where you bought the item and look up the shipping and delivery status there.
  • No matter the time of year, it always pays to protect your personal information. Check out these resources to help you weed out spam text messages, phishing emails, and unwanted calls.

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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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December 14, 2023

I always go back to where I ordered the item(s).Walmart or Amazon....sign up for USPS informed can log in and see the status of packages coming in the mail....legitimate orders don't need an update of address or delivery.....I have never had to contact a "warehouse" to update delivery information

Steve- Retired
December 14, 2023

In reply to by John

Great ideas worth mentioning to protect yourself. I receive fake phishing E-Mails all the time.

Scotty Preston
December 14, 2023

It happens on a daily basis! Get rid of one, another one pops up

MariaHelena Peixoto
December 18, 2023

In reply to by Scotty Preston

So true. and I am paying for scammers and others to be identified and stopped.
Why even have this purching software on my phone!!

December 14, 2023

I get these all the time. I know when, where and if I'm expecting a shipment. The ones that are alarming is when you get an invoice telling you something has been renewed and they take your money. Fortunately, I don't have the accounts that say that. I also check the email domain if it ends with Gmail I just delete and report spam

December 14, 2023

First and foremost, ask yourself: have I really ordered anything recently? And if I did, and they "lost my address", how come they have my phone number?

December 20, 2023

In reply to by Marge

They email me and say that I need to contact them because they need an address because my package was delievered to a wrong address

Diane Terech
January 16, 2024

In reply to by Marge

I never taught of that.. Thanks for that suggestion. Too bad that people who are smart enough to develop these scams use their intelligence for good things.

Chris Lepper
December 14, 2023

You know, the VERY FIRST thing that should be available is a link to send in our scam emails and
Instead of hiring 800 thousand IRS agents to squeeze the citizens, why don't we hire 800 thousand cyber experts to eliminate the evil citizens "have to be prepared for"!!

Nancy Spears D…
December 14, 2023

In reply to by Chris Lepper

I agree Chris about hiring cyber experts although we also need to collect taxes from the super rich who often avoid paying their full share. I am sick of these phishing emails. My email provider has a site that I send all these emails and any others that are suspicious . The FTC needs such a site so everyone can have access to it, and hire cyber experts to check these things out instead of just compiling a data base.

Dennis J. Kennedy
December 15, 2023

In reply to by Nancy Spears D…

I agree on both counts. In order to provide necessary consumer protection like cyber experts and other services, a government needs additional income which is only possible if we all pay our fair share in taxes.

Randy Schmucker
December 15, 2023

In reply to by Chris Lepper

I totally agree with that. Quit from honest people and go after the crooks.

R. Avant
December 14, 2023

I received what look like a legitimate email from the United States Post Office. I was expecting a package filled out some info but the following page wanted my credit card information and to charge me .30 cents. These scammers are truly tech savvy and its getting scary.
Thank you for the articles that you send out, as they are very helpful.

R. Poe
December 18, 2023

In reply to by R. Avant

I just got caught up in that scan but thankfully I mentioned it to my friend and they said it was a scan so called my debit card # on the card and put a freeze on my debit card and went to the post office on Monday the next day and they said it was indeed a scam and then I went to my bank and they checked my account and there was nothing taken out (0.30) and they are sending me a new debit card. But after reading this I'm afraid they still have my name and address. I don't know what they can do with just my name and address but I'm so angry that I fell for that. I usually, always delete those texts but I am expecting a package from out of country so I fell for it. The post office cite they send you too looks real. They even have all the different tabs that you can go to for different information. Ugh!!!!!!

Jeff from Texas
January 29, 2024

In reply to by R. Avant

Yes, me too exactly the same.
Looks like the USPS website and has links that take you to real link on the postal service website. But why ask for my credit card for an incorrect address entry?
I’m sure there have been a lot of victims of this scam.

Stewart K Isralsky
December 14, 2023

Thank you the FTC for bringing this to our attention.. it is overwhelming and scary. Congress needs to allocate more money to the FTC. To safeguard the American people.

anne dunlap
December 14, 2023

I personally just block the email address

Dennis Green
December 14, 2023

You should trace these live fraudsters and throw them in prison for a long time to deter others from trying to make TAXFREE! money.

Koa h tiong
December 14, 2023

Very good info and at the right time. I get messages like that all the time , but I know I am not expecting any packages , so I don’t click as asked . Thanks.

December 14, 2023

This is good article to read help me to be aware what is fake messages or legit email.
I received many times text and emails about packages.
Thanks FTC to educate the public scammers online are everywhere.
Learned a lot reading this article.

Sue Walden
December 14, 2023

I get frustrated and angry with so many scam emails and messages. Those from PayPal are the worst. I have never had an account and them demanding I pay them hundreds of dollars is ridiculous. I never open the link, return a phone call from the sender who gives a name and number and block them immediately. It’s ridiculous how far scammers will go these days.

Robert Herring
December 14, 2023

Nov.29, 2023. Add for 8 Henley style shirts on special. I ordered. Within 3 min got a received and thank no you. Next day search and it took me to London site with scam all over the page. Contacted my bank, useless. Then every 2 days since get email package is here, package moving the arrival at usps in my hometown. Today email tracking says out for delivery then delivered to me. Nope did not get. I see this article couldn't believe step by step just what they are doing. I give up.

Robert Herring
December 15, 2023

In reply to by Robert Herring order seemed very legit to a place in California. Problem is it then went to a London site but by the time I found that the order suddenly went to China. Then cannot find order in our system, please reenter tracking. Then order found Then order shipped bounced around China Then USA then shipped to a usps site then my town po, then out for delivery, then delivered. Nothin
All this was done with usual delivery times of my local po.

December 14, 2023

You may also get Email asking to re-new your computer Virus software from Norton and others I keep getting them but do not respond because I have never used them but they state your account has expired do not respond to them I get many Emails from sights saying I WON another asking questions to receive free gift another saying I Inherited a large sum of money from a place I never heard of and one saying my relative needs help getting home do not respond to them unless you actually know for sure they are legitimate I still to this day get them but I know they are Spam as well as Scams and do turn this in to Federal Trade Commission, Attorney General and AARP in hopes to prevent others from being robbed of there money and personal information. These Notifications help more than ever to stay awhere of. the bad things going on

Nancy Spears D…
December 14, 2023

I am on a mission to stop these annoying emails. My email provider has a site where I send all such emails which I cannot verify as legitimate. The FTC needs such a site and also an army of young cyber experts to track these people down and hold them accountable for the damage they cause.

December 14, 2023 I report the junk to Apple and delete the text but nothing happens and they don’t stop. You would think there would be a way to stop it.

December 14, 2023


Carl bowles
December 14, 2023

Guys Be mindful, the scammers are endlessly inventive. They attack me frequently.

Gary Seney
December 14, 2023

Just got one of these today before reading this email. It looked pretty good but I didn't click like they wanted.

Lana Robert
December 14, 2023

Thank you for the reminder. Coincidentally, just before your email, I received an email that caused me to pause and ponder it. It stated, "Thank you for your purchase..." and was a group send. It wanted me to click on a pdf and I deleted instead not recognizing the "purchase", though I made too many to remember. It felt wrong. Thanks so much for confirmation of these scams.

December 14, 2023

Don't answer surveys regarding, "How did we do?" or "How do you like your new [whatever]" for a week, or a month; that may be phishing/not sent by the shipper/business.

December 15, 2023

This old scam must still work, as it remains alive and well.

I have Gmail for my email provider, which auto sends about 99% of the scammers to my spam folder.
Then I peek at the first 80 characters of their message, without opening the email (this avoids their pixel trackers from spying on me) to keep up with what's hot in spam country.

I keep reading about how the new AI chatbots gives scammers new abilities to fix their broken English, but I'm not seeing any improvements there. I wonder if this is because there are so many people still falling for their scams.

Another way to tell real emails from the frauds, is almost all real companies use my real name, but the scammers are clueless, so just use none or address me by my email.

December 15, 2023

I’ve had these ridiculous text,emails, etc…. Most recent, was a phone call to verify my husband’s information having to do with a personal matter.. of course I didn’t give any information But questions made this scammer hang up on me.. I just wanted to know why he didn’t call my husband, how he got my phone number, and to verify information he had about my husband. Turned the table 😊

Dennis J. Kennedy
December 15, 2023

The legitimate messages from carriers are not always truthful. I recently bought a very expensive computer through Amazon which the seller sent FedEx. When the computer did not arrive on time I received daily messages excusing the delay which were absolutely untrue. ("The customer wasn't available" "The business was closed" "Weather delay", etc.) When I pointed this out to Amazon and the seller and they began to investigate, FedEx reported that they had proof that they delivered the item a day PRIOR to their last notice of delay. After I suggested that the incident be reported as a crime, the computer showed up the next morning with no explanation or apology.

December 15, 2023


December 15, 2023

I suddenly got a bunch of these. Makes no sense. Am deleting them.

Melinda McCoy
December 18, 2023

I made.a LG order and have been waiting for too long. I ordered from a store on facebook. Don't they have some kind of responsibility to protect your member from fraudests go

December 18, 2023

I just recieved a package in the mail from Avienda de Parque De Africa with a cheap pendant that I did not order.
They have my name address and phone number on the package, I researched and saw that this is happening to alot of people and it said to come here.

December 21, 2023

Avoid purchasing from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I purchased an item Dec 1st, was promised delivery by Dec 7th. Received a email changing delivery to Dec 9th. Long story short my delivery was never received. Some "anonymous" person (probably from Bed, bath and Beyond) rerouted the delivery on Dec 18th. I contacted the company for a resolution and am still waiting for a refund!

Bonita Cherice Green
December 21, 2023

Thank you! Extremely timely!

December 27, 2023

This morning I received a text from USPS to verify my shipping address.
I am waiting on various last minute shipments before Christmas. I will admit, I did click. The site looked very real. I provided my address and then it asked for payment. Immediately, I got out of it! I went to all of my emails notifications for my deliveries and none of them are using USPS.
I guess I will learn if I was scammed with using just my address.

I hope the FTC- Consumer Alerts will do more to get the message out!

January 04, 2024

In reply to by Misha

I been finished all of my holiday shopping in November and already have the cute gifts that the children wanted me to have

Debbie Moulder
December 27, 2023

Yes, I have received these email messages on Gmail and are scrambled addresses.

Ann Reynolds
December 27, 2023

I clicked on a texted link to a package delayed because of wrong address. It looked like it was from the USPS. I did type in the correct address and was asked to give my credit card number to pay .30 cents for a redelivery. I backed out at that point, didn't give my credit card info and when I tried to get back to the text it was gone.

January 02, 2024

I wanna know or is a real company,or fals
Iam from the netherlands
Please let me know!

January 02, 2024

Get emails all the time about my order. I delete them because I know I did not order from that company

Kirby Taylor
January 08, 2024

Dear consumer advice I had a weird email from a scammer 724572107 that was created for Branch CO2 from 2200 Parkway Gray's lake Illinois that was set up by a scammer for FedEx that I never even ordered and now they are going to try to deliver but i don't want it because I never ordered it. So can have the scammer removed please.

January 17, 2024

So why do you let them do it, you never arrest them but I bet if I did it the Feds would be on my door step first thing in the morning garenteed. The only people putting a stop to it are youtubers which you won't even give funding to. There's something fishy going on between the governments and these scammers, it's like they have some kind of deal going on that let's them do do it. Just saying.

Miguel Texidor
January 17, 2024

It’s the district stand dirty cops doing it not scammers why are you allowing them to do it and not prosecuting them for embezzlement and fraud