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Scam alert from U.S. Postal Service

Published: Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 7:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 7:09 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — The U.S. Postal Service is warning customers to be aware of an email scam using the Postal Service.

On Friday, the U.S. Postal Service’s Corporate Communications spokesperson, Beverly Howard, said some postal customers are receiving bogus emails about an attempted or intercepted package delivery or online postage charges. The customer is instructed to click on a link, open the attachment, or print the label. But when opened, the link or attachment installs a malicious virus which can steal personal information from the customer’s personal computer, Howard said.

“The Postal Inspectors warn: Don’t do it!” Howard said. “Like most viruses sent by email, 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 Postal Service’s recommendation is to simply delete the message without taking any further action, Howard said. The Postal Inspection Service is working hard to resolve the issue and shut down the malicious program.

Locally, Princeton Post Master Shannon Mattingly said this email scam is not a new scam but has been going on for a couple years. There have been customers coming into the Princeton Post Office looking for their parcels, the postmaster said.

The U.S. Postal Service does not typically send out emails to customers, but rather would put notices in the customer’s mailbox. If someone does receive an email allegedly from the Postal Service, they should not open it unless it represents a trusted source. However, if someone does open up a scam email, they should change their password, Mattingly said.

Scam artists use not just the U.S. Postal Service, but also Fed Ex and also UPS, Mattingly added.

For more information about an alleged delivery or to report a spam email, people can contact their local post office, call 1-800-ASK-USPS or email spam@uspis.gov.

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