USPS scam starts with an enticing email
Image source: ScamSniper.info
Today's scam will have you thinking you're going postal because that's who it centers on – scammers posing as United States Postal Service representatives. This scam is so effective in the post-Christmas haze because so many of us have either mailed packages or are expecting them. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself from the USPS scams targeting North Carolina consumers.
How the Scam Starts
If you're being targeted, you'll first get an email purporting to be from the US Postal Service with the subject line of “Delivery Failure Notification” or something similar. It says that there's a package intended for you that was attempted for delivery. This is very enticing because of course you want your delayed Christmas present.
How the Scam Tricks You
After enticing you with the promise of a present unreceived, the email instructs you to click on a link to print up a label to take with you to the Post Office to retrieve your package. When you click, you are given some information on how to get your package but what really happens is that a keystroke logging virus is installed.
Other Versions of the Scam
A different iteration of the scam notifies you that you have online postage charges due (that doesn't even sound like something real) and invites you to click to clear up the matter. Some alternate versions of the scam will have misspelled words in either the subject line or the body of the email. Any email purporting to be from the US Postal Service should be viewed with caution.
What the Virus Does
The virus used in the scam is known as a Keylogger Trojan and it monitors everything you type into into your computer. This becomes important when you log into your bank account, credit card account or other accounts that contain important financial information that can be used for identity theft or outright theft. Your user name and passwords will be picked up by the virus and can then be accessed by the scammer.
How to Protect Yourself
In the Postal Inspector's warning about the bogus e-mails, they direct consumers to not click on any links in the email and to delete it immediately. Go one step further and then delete it from your trash file as well so that it's completely gone from your computer. If you want to go a step further in helping the USPS deal with this scam, you can forward the email to email@example.com prior to deleting it or you can call 877-876-2455.
Unfortunately, scams often prey on those already in debt and dealing with financial difficulties. If this is your circumstance, a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may help you get a fresh start and put your debts behind you. Contact the law offices of North Carolina bankruptcy attorney John T Orcutt to find out more.
Be sure to read our other blogs in this scam prevention series: