Postal Service warns of scam emails

Monday, June 9, 2014 | 3:29 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Customers are advised to be wary of emails claiming to come from the U.S. Postal Service about package deliveries, as they might be a scam.

A fraudulent email is circulating, asking customers to click on a link or download an attachment for information about attempted deliveries or intercepted packages, according to a news release from the agency. The message contains a virus that could steal personal information, such as names and passwords, from a user's computer. 

"We want to keep our customers safe," Columbia Postmaster Mark Rask said in the news release. "Lately, we've been receiving complaints from customers about receiving emails about missing delivery."

Customers nationwide have received the messages, said Cheryl Thompson, the service's customer relations coordinator for mid-Missouri. The Postal Service is unsure about the number of people affected in mid-Missouri, but inspectors are working to find the source of the email, Thompson said.

Some of the tell-tale signs of scam emails are poor grammar and spelling errors, a call for immediate action from the customer, messages asking customers to click on a link for more details and requests for  personal information, according to the news release. 

The Postal Service notifies customers of attempted deliveries by leaving a form on their mailboxes or updating the online tracking system, Thompson said.

"The postal office will never request personal information over email," Thompson said. 

Customers should delete the scam messages, according to the news release.

Supervising editor is Seth Klamann.

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