BALTIMORE — Mail delays are creating opportunities for scammers. Victims report receiving an email requesting they pay a small fee to have a package re-delivered, but filling out the form without verifying its real could cost them a lot more later on.
Chana Rosenblat’s mom was anxiously waiting for her package and on the day it was supposed to be delivered, she received an email that USPS made a package delivery attempt but no one was home.
“And they said there was a $3 fee,” said Rosenblat.
Her mom put in her information and her credit card number.
“And then when she submitted it came out with [another form] asking for her Social Security number,” Rosenblat said.
That’s when she realized the website was fake and had her mom cancel her credit card and contacted WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii.
“I could see there's a lot of elderly that are not as informed, like if I hadn’t stopped her, she might’ve put in her Social Security number because she wanted that package really badly,” said Rosenblat.
WMAR-2 News has heard from hundreds of customers still missing mail. Rosenblat knows others might be willing to accept the gamble and pay a small fee to receive their package, but U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Martel said if they try to deliver they will leave a slip on the door.
“The Postal Service never asks for a fee for re-delivery nor does the Postal Service email customers regarding missed delivery or nondelivery of a package,” said Martel.
He's seen websites like this before where logos, headers, and tracking information are used to trick customers. The website is coded so that anyone who views the site will think the tracking information is current.
“So someone in California could see that, someone here in Maryland could see that, and they would think the same thing, but obviously it doesn’t show your local post office, it doesn’t show any zip codes on there at all, there are no tracking numbers, anything of that nature so all of those are red flags,” Martel said.
If you receive a USPS scam text message or email, don't click the link. It could download malware onto your device. Martel said to forward any suspicious messages to Spam@USPIS.gov.
A USPS spokesperson also said they've returned to pre-peak operational conditions in most areas and they fully anticipate continued improvements in service performance.