Did you know that some of the items you order from might come through a fake shipping company?

Did you even know that was a real thing?

Well, unfortunately, it is. And many people fall prey to it each year.

Most scams have pretty clear red flags that should send your alarm bells ringing. In this article, we’ll go over some of them to make sure all of your packages get sent.

After all, larger postal services deliver over 1 billion packages at Christmas time alone. Don’t get caught out and taken for a ride by stealthy scammers.

Improper Grammar

Improper grammar and misspelled words are incredibly common for companies that aren’t legit. That’s often because they’re using people from another country to craft messages, and often, their first language isn’t English.

Sometimes, scammers know they have a “live one” when they get someone who overlooks the bad spelling and grammar and proceeds anyway.

A real shipping company will always have someone checking over the spelling and grammar.

The Graphics Just Don’t Look Right

Did you get an email from a company that claims to be FedEx or USPS and the logo doesn’t look right? Or is it the logo, but the space around the logo looks “noisy” with gradients and dots and speckles? If so, it’s probably from a scammer company.

A Fake Shipping Company Uses Public Email Servers

Most people use Gmail or another such similar service for their personal emails. Most companies have their own domains. This means that if someone from the company emails you, it would be from someone who has an email address at that domain.

If someone is claiming to be from the US Postal Service, for example, and sends you a message from USPS@gmail.com, it’s definitely a fake.

Look Up the Company’s Reputation Online

If you get an email or speak to someone on the phone from a company you suspect could be scamming you, do some research about them online. The fact that they have a website may not be enough. Many scam companies operate websites, sometimes with videos and testimonials that look and feel authentic.

That’s why you need to go deeper. Consult Better Business Bureau or Yelp and see if they have any reviews. If they don’t have any, or all of the reviews are negative, that should send alarm bells ringing.

But, if they only have positive reviews, especially reviews where there is poor grammar or spelling, that could also be indicative of a scam.

If You’re Contacted Via the Phone, Get the Agent’s Details

If you get a call from someone claiming to be from a shipping company, get their name and ID number. If the person is legit, you will be able to verify this information with the company itself.

All you have to do is call them up and ask if a person of a certain name and ID number works there. They should be able to verify or deny this quickly and easily.

Your Email Isn’t Specific About Your Tracking Number or Details About Your Package

If you receive an email that says a package is on the way to you, it should be from the company you purchased the item from itself. In some cases, the company will give you a tracking number and an external site to monitor the “progress” of your package.

However, you shouldn’t get an email that simply says your package is on the way with no further details. There should be tracking information as well as details of what you actually ordered. If it lacks this, it could be a scam.

They Demand Money

Sometimes, you’ll get an email demanding money from you in return for your package. This isn’t the way shipping works. You’ve likely already paid for your shipping when you bought the items, so there shouldn’t be any more the company needs from you.

If the company tells you they need more money, or they’re going to process a late fee if you don’t call them up in time, this is also likely a scam.

When a Company Demanding Money is Legit

While most scam company demanding money are just that, scams, there is one exception. It is important to know the difference so you don’t get caught out.

If someone ships an item to you from another country, or you order an item from another country, you may be subject to customs charges. This is a fee for bringing the item into the country.

Depending on the item, the customs fees will vary.

Typically, however, you’ll get a letter from the customs office of the country you’re in. It will give you explicit instructions as to how to pay the customs charge.

It should give you an option to either pay in person or pay online. If you pay online, it should be through the customs office’s official site.

If you’re paying customs on an item, you will never be directed to a PayPal, Venmo or asked to send a money order.

Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold

A fake shipping company can certainly dampen holiday spirits. However, you don’t need to worry about them if you’re armed and ready with the correct information on how to spot a phony.

If you need to ship something, contact us now to get a free quote. We’ll help you get the items you need to be shipped to your destination in a timely manner!