Consumer Alert: Beware fake USPS, shipping emails

The U.S. Postal Service is warning the public about a scheme that has made its way to Hawaii.

People are sending fake emails that ask the recipient to click on a link about a package delivery or online postage charge.

When they do, a virus infects their computer, putting their personal information at risk.

Cybersecurity expert Chris Duque says the results can be devastating.

“The worst case is that you go to a site or get redirected to a site that has ransomware. It infects your machine and it encrypts your entire hard drive,” he said.

Duque says the scheme isn’t new and doesn’t just apply to the U.S. Postal Service.

“It’s applied to all shippers, FedEx, UPS, Amazon, Nordstrom, all the big name companies who do online business,” Duque said.

So how do you spot a bogus email?

“When you open the email and start reading, you know, look for the foreign language or the misspelling or grammatical errors,” Duque said.

And beware of emails that ask for your personal information since many of them already have it.

Duque says if you’re not sure if the email is legitimate, visit the company’s website or contact them directly.

It’s also a good idea to back up your data and make sure your computer’s antivirus software is up to date before you go online.

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