With Easter approaching on Sunday, this is a good time to warn people about Easter scams. Whatever is of interest to the public is of interest to scammers who are always looking to turn the public’s interest in anything into a scam. One of the Easter related scams about which the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyberawareness System involves phony shipping notifications from the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx or any other delivery company that are merely attempts to trick people into providing personal information that can be used to make the person a victim of identity theft. Another common Easter scam is electronic greeting cards which download malware such as keystroke logging malware used to make you a victim of identity theft or ransomware used to encrypt your data and destroy it if you do not pay a ransom.
You do not have to provide sensitive personal information in order to receive a package delivered by the U.S. Postal Service or a private carrier. If you receive such a notice about a delivery you were not expecting, you can check with the U.S. Postal Service, or the private carrier at a telephone number that you know is accurate in order to determine if the original communication to you was a scam.
Electronic greeting cards are tremendously easy to use and can be particularly helpful if you are late remembering to send a card on a particular occasion, however, you should never click on a link in a notification that you have received an electronic greeting card unless you have confirmed that the person you know actually sent you the card. Never click on links in electronic greeting cards from “an admirer” or any other term designating someone without a name.