Along with holiday decorations and lights, FedEx, UPS and DHL trucks adorn American streets at this time of the year. And that provides the perfect opportunity for scammers to deliver trouble — with phony notifications that there's a package waiting for you.
Usually the word arrives by e-mail, which should be your first clue it's a con: Shipping forms used by the major carriers list the names and addresses of senders and recipients, but not their e-mail addresses. So it's unlikely that delivery companies would e-mail you about an issue with a package.
But that doesn't stop scammers, who buy e-mail lists or target people who fell for other spamming schemes.
In the most common ploy, an e-mail purporting to be from a well-known courier service — or even the U.S. Postal Service — contains a link that supposedly will bring up information about a package that cannot be delivered or that will let you print a copy of the delivery order.