Officials warn of fake shipping emails

Wisconsin DATCP asks consumers to watch out

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection warns consumers to watch out for phony shipping emails and to avoid clicking links in the messages.

During the holiday season, more individuals are shopping online, so they are getting more emails related to purchasing and delivery confirmations. DATCP said the added email traffic allows scammers to sneak in malware-laden spam.

“Scammers will use any opportunity to flood inboxes with malicious spam emails, and they know that they may be able to slip a well-designed message past an unsuspecting consumer if it is in the mix of legitimate shipping updates,” Michelle Reinen, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, said.

DATCP specifically warns people about emails and texts that warn about delivery problems, request account information or ask you to open an attached shipment label to claim a package. Scammers often use names, logos and color schemes of major shipping companies or spoof the company’s web address in messages.

If you receive one of these emails, delete it without clicking any links. If one of your packages is delayed, contact the shipper directly.

DATCP gives this list of common things to look out for in fake shipping emails:

— Poor grammar and spelling errors in emails that claim to come from major businesses.
— Sender addresses that don’t match the URL for the company that supposedly sent the email. For example, the “From:” line in a fake FedEx email gave an Italian email address for the sender, not a address.
— Shipment emails that lack specifics about the sender or the package’s supposed contents.
— Emails asking you to open an attachment in order to review an order. Never open an attachment in an unsolicited or questionable email.
— Emails containing threats that a package will be returned to the sender and that you will be charged a fee for not responding to the message.