Scammers use holiday delivery scheme to dupe people waiting for packages

The holiday season may be a time for good cheer.  But scammers think it's prime time to pull off a scam and they've tied their latest tricks to the presents you've purchased.      

After the glory of snagging Cyber Monday deals, comes the waiting game.  And while you sit watching for deliveries, scammers are taking action.  Angie Barnett with the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland says, "It's the best time of year because we are expecting packages."

Barnett believes your expectations put you at risk because scammers know you're waiting.  They're trying a few tricks in the holiday season.  One scheme involves sending a text or email saying your packages can't be delivered.  Barnett says, "It will prompt you to download by clicking on a link or clicking on an attachment and you're going to download and invoice or shipping label."

But clicking could release a Trojan virus that collects your personal information and puts you at risk for identity theft.  Barnett says the virus is so dangerous you may not even notice the damage it's caused until it's done. 

Another scam that could do damage involves emails about packages that are ready to drop.  They tell you need to get them or it will cost you.  Barnett tells ABC2, "A sense of urgency is created because if you don't pick up the package they're going to start charging a fee every day."

That scam also asks you to click on links contained within the message.  Instead, experts say you should just hover over the link.  If you're not being taken to a legitimate website for a carrier like Fedex or UPS, beware.  Barnett says, "That is your biggest warning sign.  Those are the emails you need to delete immediately."

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