Category Archives: Scam alert

USPS warns of scam using its name

The United States Postal Service is warning residents about fake emails using their name. The messages claim to be alerts about an undelivered package, but they really carry a virus.USPS logo
How the Scam Works:

You receive an email message that appears to be a shipping notification. It says that the postal service has been unable to deliver your package. To claim it, you just need to download the attached confirmation form and take it to your local post office.

But when you click on the file, you find that it isn’t a receipt after all. It’s really a virus! Typically, these viruses phish for personal and banking information on your machine.

Like all scams, this one has many variations. Victims have reported receiving phone calls also claiming to alert you to an undelivered package. Instead of a virus, scammers try to phish for personal and banking information. The scam isn’t even limited to the USPS; Canada Post was targeted by a similar scam.

Tips to Avoid Email Scams:

Spot common email scams by following these tips:
    • Don’t believe what you see. Scammers make emails seem to come from a reputable source. Just because it looks like an “” address does not mean it’s safe.
    • Be wary of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments. As always, do not click on links or open the files in unfamiliar emails.
    • Beware of pop-ups. Some pop-ups are designed to look like they’ve originated from your computer. If you see a pop-up that looks like an anti-virus software but warns of a problem that needs to be fixed with an extreme level of urgency, it may be a scam.
    • Watch for poor grammar and spelling. Scam emails often are riddled with typos.
    • Immediate action is necessary. Scam emails try to get you to act before you think by creating a sense of urgency. Don’t fall for it.

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eBay urges customers to change passwords; possible data breach

eBay is telling customers to change passwords, after admitting it suffered a data breach in late February.ebayebay

In a post on its website, eBay says it has no knowledge of users’ financial information being stolen or misused, despite the theft of names, addresses, phone numbers, telephone numbers and birth dates. Unlike basic user information, financial information is encrypted. Company officials say it found the breach two weeks ago. While eBay claims 145 million users, but did not say how many accounts were affected. eBay says there is no evidence that its subsidiary online payment system, PayPal, was hacked.

This is only the latest in a series of high-profile attacks that hit retailers Target, Niemen Marcus and others, as well as AOL last month.

Better Business Bureau recommends eBay customers not only change their eBay passwords, but make sure they don’t use the same password for other sites as well. Find other tips at

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Yorkie puppy scam nearly hooks Idaho Falls woman

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

When it finally got to the price of the Yorkshire Terrier puppy, Louise Baker of Idaho Falls was taken back.

“I wrote them back and asked why so little,” she says. “He said the only reason why they were having a knock-off price is because his fiancĂ© will have a baby in about two weeks and he needed a new home for the puppies ASAP to ‘give way for the nursery and play room for my kids.”

It seemed odd the cost of the puppy, veterinarian papers, shipping crate and transportation would only be $450. She said next day delivery from Cincinnati, Ohio, was possible if the transaction was closed immediately.

She became even more suspicious when the seller only wanted to deal with her by text or email, and contacted Better Business Bureau. She said she wanted to talk to someone by phone before ordering and they refused. She had her granddaughter look at everything and she, too, decided it had to be a scam.

BBB searched the email address and there are people who have posted that they paid for and never received their dogs. When BBB called the number (740-537-0484), it was a Verizon disconnected number response.

BBB warns consumers that classified ads offering purebred puppies free or at prices that seem too good to be true she be avoided. Beware of Internet sellers asking for full payment before seeing documentation, other than a photograph, that the puppy is healthy and, sometimes, real.

Follow these tips to avoid pet buying scams:

  • Beware of ads with multiple misspellings and grammatical errors; many pet scams come from overseas and scammers often do not have a firm grasp on the English language.
  • Do not send or wire money to people you do not know.
  • If purchasing a pedigreed pet, be sure the breeder provides documentation of the parents’ registration with the appropriate kennel club. This ensures that the pet is in fact a legitimate pure-bred animal. It is then your responsibility to register your pet with the appropriate kennel club.



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