Post Office warns of hackers
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 1:00 PM
Postal officials are warning customers about hackers who are using the postal service's name to try to spread an information-stealing computer virus.
The postal service is receiving numerous calls and information from customers who are receiving emails concerning a package delivery or online postage charges.
Postmaster Nathan Dunaway warns customers not to open the emails, which claim to be from the postal service.
The emails contain false information about "an attempted or intercepted package delivery or online postal charges,".
The emails instruct you to click on a link, open an attachment or print a label. Doing so exposes your computer to the virus, which can allow the hacker access to your personal information.
Dunaway said the best course of action is to leave the email closed and notify your Internet service provider because that's the quickest way to reduce any negative impact from the virus.
Dunaway said the postal service's name occasionally is used in these scams because customers assume it's safe when they see the name.
"The postal service is a trusted brand, so they'll use that," he said. "They'll use gas and electric companies, as well. They also use banks."
He said the postal service would not send such information to customers through email.
"If there is something like a notice about a package, they're going to leave a slip at your location," he said.
Dunaway said he learned about a new scam recently that purports to be a subpoena for a court appearance.
"If there's a subpoena, it's not going to come through the mail," he said.
The Postal Service has videos with information about avoiding such scams at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/pressroom/videos.aspx.
Dunaway said the service pays to produce the videos by using fines judges issue to those convicted for postal-related scams.