BBB warns of e-mail scam targeting holiday shoppers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A big scam is targeting e-mail inboxes this month, hoping to dupe people who order gifts online during the holidays.

The Better Business Bureau issued the warning stating, "Scammers are taking advantage of the holiday shopping season with fake e-mail shipping notifications that pose as FedEx, UPS or the U.S. Postal Service."

"We are always seeing it around here. It comes around every year," Aaron Reese of the BBB's Kansas City office said.

The e-mails are made to look like shipping notifications for a package.  They look like a receipt you need in order to pick up a package at a local shipping office. If consumers click on the attachment, they unknowingly might download viruses that will phish for personal and banking information.

Some viruses will actually lock up your computer and the scammer will charge you a ransom to pay up to free up your computer.

"It locks your computer down and asks you to pay a fine or an IT fee," he said.

The BBB recommends if you get an unfamiliar e-mail, question what you see. Scammers try to make them look like it's from a legitimate shipping company.

Be cautious of unexpected e-mails with links and attachments. Beware of pop-ups with a sense of urgency warning of scams and look out for poor grammar and spelling.

If you download a virus, it's best to consult with an IT expert

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