Be aware: Postcard scam popping up in time for the holidays

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It started out as a routine trip to the mailbox for Ross Jacobs, but ended in an activism on behalf of himself and his neighbors.

“I went out to check the mail one evening, and I noticed I had a strange postcard. Here it is, actually,” he says holding it up. “It said ‘Delivery Notice’."

The bright yellow card with red writing quickly caught Jacobs’ eye. He wasn’t expecting a package. That was clue number one.

But also, it's what the card didn’t say that made him look twice.

“If it’s a delivery notice from the post office, why wouldn’t it have a stamp on it?” he mused. “And if it’s a delivery notice from FedEx, DHL, UPS -- then they’re going to put their brand all over it. It has none of that so it kind of raised a red flag.”

Folks in North Carolina saw the same scam back in August. The card has a number for you to call.

But officials with the Better Business Bureau advise you not to do so.

“Once they get to talk to you, that gives them one more opportunity to try to talk you in to sending extra delivery--all kinds of things. So you really just don’t want to get on the phone with these characters,” says BBB Executive Director, David Smitherman.

He advises that you not only be on the lookout for phony postcards this time of year, but also emails claiming you have a delivery. Many times, those have a link for you to click.

Once again, Smitherman says don’t do it, pointing out that clicking on those links may allow the scammers to download spyware and malware on your computers and devices. That could lead to them having access to all sorts of personal and private information.

Within thirty minutes of getting his postcard, Ross Jacobs had figured out it was a scam. He immediately sent a notice to the Alabama attorney general’s office.

“They’re kind of preying on the weak and it seems like... maybe by acting fast they can get caught.,” he surmises.

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