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With the holidays approaching, criminals are taking advantage of the busy shopping season to lure thier victims into downloading harmful viruses and malicious saftware by using fake emails from companies such as FedX, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service.

Scammers will usually send their victims emails regarding lost packages or shipping and tracking information. Since many packages are being sent this time of year they figure they should reach somebody who has recently purchased something online or is expecting a package from a family member or friend. When you open the email, there are usually links are attachements that are used to download and install malicious viruses and code. This malware can may be used to steal your personal information, lock your computer and hold it as ransom, or use your computer as a platform to hack other computers or people on your contact lists.

Tips to avoid these types of scams include:

 

  • Take a close look at the sender's address. They are cleverly disguised to look like a legitimate address.
  • Do not click or download attachments, especially from suspicious sources. Shipping companies will ususally include shipping information in the body of the email.
  • Many of these scammers are operating overseas and have a poor command of the English language. Many of these scam emails are riddles with spelling errors and poor grammar.
  • Be wary of pop-ups. malicious pop-ups are designed to look like they have originated from your computer. If you see a pop-up that warns you of a problem that needs to be addressed and wants you to "click here" it may be a scam.
  • Never disclose personal information such as your social security number or finacial information such as credit card information or bank routing numbers to a suspicious email. Shipping companies will not ask you for confidential personal information.

 

When indoubt, contact the shipping company directly through their web portal or via phone.

 

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