Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bogus e-mails sent to postal customers

Some postal customers are receiving bogus e-mails about a package delivery or online postage charges. I was one of these customers and, carefully, checked the USPS.com website to discover the following warning.

The e-mails contain a link or attachment that, when opened, installs a malicious virus that can steal personal information from your PC. The e-mails claim to be from the U.S. Postal Service and contain fraudulent information about an attempted or intercepted package delivery or online postage charges. You are instructed to click on a link or open an attachment. But Postal Inspectors warn: Do not click on the link or open the attachment!

Clicking on the link or opening the attachment will activate a virus that can steal information—such as your user name, password, and financial account information.

The fradulent email that I received also said that because the package, addressed to me, could not be delivered, I would be charged $20 something dollars a day for storage and I should be sure to click on the link provided to end the charges and determine what I wanted done with the package. This is not the first kind of fraudulent email that I have received and, as warned by my children and grandchildren, I NEVER click on a link unless I am 100% sure that I know the sender and know what the link contains.

In spite of all my care and diligence, my email accounts still get hacked, and I change my passwords with regularity. My credit cards also get hacked and, fortunately, the credit card companies are on top of the illegal activity and get in touch with me to confirm the charges as OK or unauthorized. The unauthorized charges result in no penalty to me and the credit card companies send replacement cards with speed.

Nevertheless, please take this warning to heart. If only the crooks would use their cleverness for legitimate activities.

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