Tag Archives: USPS

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 “@usps.com” 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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Don’t be fooled; fake postal deliveries look real

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

The tag has everything on it – USPS logo, UPC bar code, correct spelling good grammar, and a click-through.

“Unfortunately we failed to deliver the postal package you have sent on the 27th of October in time, because the recipient’s address is erroneous. Please go to the nearest UPS office …” it states.

What? Wasn’t this from the USPS?

Boise resident Nancy Hansen’s reaction was completely accurate. “We do send package through USPS and through UPS, but we did not send one on the 27th.”

The email address suggests that if you have questions, write to questions@u-usps.com. On examination, the email is “u-usps.com.” There’s an extra ‘u.’ When an internet search is done, it redirects to USPS.com which is the real United States Postal Service website. Email is undeliverable to the address.

“I’m assuming if I’d clicked on the ‘print shipping label’ button, it would have allowed access to my computer,” she asked when she called BBB.

A quick call to the local UPS store, prompted this response: “We do not recognize this type of label, so we suggest that you contact the local UPS HUB at 116 N 42nd st [Boise], or call the main post office and give them the label number which is the very long number at the bottom of the label to see if it is valid.”

The label has 30 digits on the UPC bar code and is too long for anything the USPS uses, Postal Inspectors told BBB.

This is a SCAM email!

Some postal customers are receiving fictitious emails about a package delivery or online postage charge.  The emails contain a link or an attachment that, when opened, installs a malicious virus that can steal personal information from your PC.

“The email claims to be from the U.S. Postal Service and contains fraudulent information about an attempted or intercepted package delivery or postage charge. In the email, you are instructed to click on a link, open an attachment or print a label,” the statement reads.

But Postal Inspectors warn: Do not click on the link or open the attachment! This is a phishing scam.

Phishing attacks use phone, fax, mail, email or malicious websites to ask for personal information by posing as a trustworthy organization.

BBB reminds:

  • DO NOT give sensitive information – personal or financial – to anyone unless you are sure they are indeed who they claim to be.
  • DO NOT give access to electronic information – via unknown links,  emails or advertisements.

For routine SPAM (i.e. advertisements, commercial content, social media) the best course of action is to delete the message.

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Local USPS alert to ‘mystery shopper’ Blackstone Intl in Caldwell

By Robb Hicken/ chief storyteller

Chris Carpenter, of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., says it was one of those crazy moments when he responded to an advertisement to do something different.

“I’d heard of the different angles the mystery shopper takes, but this one sounded so right,” he says. “But they showed they conducted mystery shopping for Best Buy, IKEA, Western Union and Walmart.”

Mystery shopper scams usually arrive disguised as genuine job offers; recently, Better Business Bureau has been receiving inquiries from consumers who’ve received suspicious emails and letters from alleged “employers.”

With most mystery shopper job offer scams, cashiers’ checks and letters arrive in the mail.

When Chris received the letter and check, it was drafted on the company’s check and letterhead was from C.R.M. Blackstone Intl., with a PO BOX in Caldwell, Idaho. He called the phone number provided (208) 402-8222, and faxed off the required paperwork (208) 795-0563, and wrote an email to coordinator@blackstoneintl.net.

It all sounded legitimate, he says. But the fact’s didn’t quite add up.

The original email he’d received:

“Congratulations! You have been selected as a mystery shopper for your area! Deposit the enclosed money order into your personal bank account and shop at the following stores … [large, well-known retailers] … rating your experience with customer service, product availability and cleanliness; wire-transfer the remaining balance back to company headquarters.”

A variation of overpayment scams, mystery shopper schemes leave depositors on the hook for the total amount when counterfeit checksultimately bounce.

“When someone deposits a check, he or she is responsible for that check whether or not it is known that the check is a fake,” says Dale Dixon, CEO of BBB serving the Snake River Region.

Employ caution when considering mystery shopper job opportunities and avoid offers that:

  • Require upfront payments or money-wiring
  • Lack verifiable contact information
  • Contain unrealistic or unsubstantiated earnings claims

Caldwell’s post master said the Postal Inspectors had already been tipped off to the scam, and the Idaho Department of Finance was working in conjunction with the postal service.

Calls to Blackstone went unreturned, and attempts to locate a physical address for the company were futile.

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