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Fake USPS ‘Problem With Your Package’ Email Links to Malware

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, which purports to be from the United States Postal Service (USPS) there has been a problem with your package.

Supposedly,  delivery failed because your address contained an error.

The email instructs you to click a “Download” button to fill out a document that will supposedly correct the delivery errors.

However, the email is not from USPS and it is not a legitimate package delivery notification.

Instead, clicking the link opens a website that harbours malware.  Once on the scam website, you may be tricked into downloading and installing the malware.

Online criminals have used such fake “failed delivery” notification emails to distribute malware for a number of years.

The nature of the malware may vary. It may be ransomware that locks the files on your computer and then demands that you pay a fee to get the “unlock” key. Or the malware may attempt to steal sensitive information such as your online banking passwords.

Criminals have used the names of many high profile delivery and postal services around the world in their scam emails.
Be wary of any message that claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to view details about a supposed parcel delivery.

A screenshot of the malware email:

USPS Malware Email




Dear [removed],
We have a problem with your package.
Tracking Number: 503172358

Date: 09/03/2020

Status: failed.

Reason: invalid address.
Please fill out the document and send it back.
Your data will be renewed automatically and our manager will call you to discuss the information about your package.


Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,