Published: Nov 15, 2012 10:17 AM EST
Updated: Nov 15, 2012 12:40 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The Lee County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit recently received an e-mail forwarded by a concerned resident who suspected the e-mail allegedly sent to him by the United States Postal Service was fictitious. The Sheriff’s Office is warning you to beware of e-mails that appear to come from the USPS or other well-known shipping companies.

These bogus e-mails contain a link or attachment that, when opened, installs a malicious virus that can steal personal information from your PC. The e-mails claim to be from the U.S. Postal Service and contain fraudulent information about an attempted or intercepted package, online postage charges, erroneous addresses, or instructions on how to print your very own shipping label by clicking on a link or attachment. But don’t do it! One click of the mouse and you could activate a virus that will steal your user name, password, financial account information and much more. Instead, delete the message and report these spam e-mails to spam@uspis.gov.

The U.S. Postal Service does offer consumers a way to create and print a mailing label online through Click-N-Ship, but you must go to their website at www.usps.com where you will be asked to sign-in or create an account using a user name and password. The fraudulent label looks very similar to the label offered on the USPS website, however, the incorrect grammar and spelling mistakes made it obvious the label was a fake.

You may also contact the Sheriff’s Office Fraud Line at (239) 477-1242 and www.ic3.gov to report this or any other online scam or fraud. Media inquiries to (239)-477-1037.