State authorities are warning consumers about a scam email that tells them there are problems with a package being delivered to them. It's not a late-arriving holiday present unless one considers a link to malicious software or a pilfering of personal information a gift.
"It's easy for a criminal anywhere in the world to send hundreds of thousands or even millions of these emails with one click of the mouse," said Sandy Chalmers, who runs the Consumer Protection Division in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. "They cast a very wide net and enough people bite on their pitch that it makes it lucrative for them."
The email in question claims to be from a delivery company like UPS, Fed Ex or the U.S. Postal Service or the examples News 3 has received from viewers, purports to come from major retailers like Best Buy and Costco. It tells the recipient their package "has not been delivered because the specified address was not correct." They are asked to click on a link and fill out a form within a week or they will lose 20-30% when they get their money back.
"There's always something to pique your interest," Chalmers said. "They can always make it seem dire if you don't respond."
Chalmers recommends deleting the message and if you think you may not a shipment outstanding, then call the company yourself to check on its status.
For more on the consumer alert, click here: http://datcp.wi.gov/Consumer/Consumer_Alerts/index.aspx?Id=1012