Scam shipping emails: How to spot the difference so your private info stays safe

The post office says bogus emails claiming to be from the USPS may put you at risk of identity theft.

7 News looked into the clever ways they try to fool you and other threats that could put your packages at risk in this scam watch.

The United States Postal Service alone will deliver 750 million packages this holiday season. And scammers want in on the action.

“It looked exactly like USPS, United States Postal Services, and she thought it was legit,” said Thomas Emory in Spartanburg.

He says his friend was hit with a bogus shipping email scam.

The Postal Service warns they have “fraudulent information about an attempted delivery… or online postage charges. You are instructed to click on a link, open the attachment, or print the label.”

And then your computer is infected with a virus that steals your information.

Telling the difference among all the other shipping emails is the tricky part.

“You get emails saying your package has shipped or your package should be arriving and you want to track it and you might click on a link and not pay attention closely because you’ve got 100 other things going on,” said Katie Mancebo who does most of her shopping online.

The bogus emails are more apt to have typos and addresses that don’t go back to the shipping agency when you hover over it.

But the big rule of thumb is if the email requires you to take action by clicking a link, be cautious.

The Postal Service is trying to crack down on this scam. If you get the email forward it to, and then delete it.

“After talking to you I’m going to be much more aware of what I click on during the holiday season,” said Mancebo.

Major Art Littlejohn with the Spartanburg Police Department says, one way to prevent it, is the same method to prevent packages from getting stolen off your doorstep.

“Most package now have a package system where you can track your package, but you need to sign up online for that and then you can get text messages or emails when your package has been delivered,” said Littlejohn.

Fortunately Emory’s friend and another person she knew who get a similar email didn’t fall victim because they had the real alerts that told them their packages were on the way.

“If they hadn’t of been smart enough to keep the update, yeah, they would have fallen for it,” said Emory.

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