On Your Side Alert: Warning about fake USPS emails

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The United States Postal Inspection Service says criminals are sending out bogus emails in an attempt to steal your personal information.  The fake notes claiming to be from the United States Postal Service have already hit Central Virginia inboxes.

The messages claim you've missed a delivery and need to click a link to down load a shipping label. Postal Inspector Mike Romano says it's a trick. He says the emails are not from the postal service. "If you click the link, it is most likely going to take you to a different site where it is actually going to try and download malware or spyware, things like that into your computer or device," Romano said.

Romano says it's easy to understand why people could fall for this. Who doesn't receive mail? And the United States Postal Service is a  trusted name people know. He warns, however, that there is no package and if you fall for this deception, you're shipping your information into the hands of criminals. "In most cases, they are downloading key loggers and malware type viruses that would collect your personal information. They transmit it to their host in another country without you even knowing it," he explains.

These criminals are not just sending out phony emails, they are also calling consumers with a similar scheme about a package waiting on them. Again, they are after your personal information. Just hang up. If you get one of those fake emails report it to spam@uspis.gov.

Romano says unless you signed up for a tracking service, you would never get an email from the post office about a package. Instead, you would get a notice that would be delivered to your house.

If you did request the email service, there would never be links for you to click. The message would only contain information about where your package is. The postal service's cyber security division is working stop the email fraud. "An overwhelming majority of these emails are pop up email companies in foreign countries. So what we are trying to do is block some of these providers that are allowing these emails to come through," Romano tells us.

If you've already clicked the link, make sure to run your anti virus. Many times criminals are hiding in the background collecting all the information you type.

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