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As the holidays approach, many of us may be peeking out the window looking for that delivery truck. Unfortunately, those who may be expecting a package from FedEx — or even those who aren’t — may see a very deceiving email in their inbox.

FedEx released an alert on their website stating: “We have received reports of fraudulent emails with the subject line ‘FedEx: Delivery Problems Notification.’ These emails can contain links which, when clicked, will connect the user to a site which then infects their computer. These links can point to any number of infected websites all over the globe. Some of these sites may look like fedex.com, while others do not.”

Your Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to watch out for these phishing emails that often include fake links that take users to sites that look very similar to trusted sites. Once on the website, con artists steal private data when visitors try to log into accounts or complete forms on these sites. There is also a more specific type to be aware of that is called “spear phishing,” which harvests personal information from public sites and incorporates these details about the user into the phishing email in an attempt to convince a person that it is a legitimate request.

In the last few years, criminals have successfully bilked billions of dollars from unsuspecting victims who have been tricked into giving personal information, opening fraudulent attachments or clicking on phishing links. So, the question is, if even the savviest of technology users can be duped, how can you avoid taking the bait?

The best way to protect you and your family from phishing emails is to not click on a link inside an email from an unfamiliar person or company. Even if an email seems to be from a trusted source, be wary and do not click if it asks you to confirm personal information for reasons such as your account is about to be closed, an order has been placed in your name, your information is missing, etc.

Also, always check if the email is really from the company it purports to be from by entering the company’s URL manually into the browser or by using a search engine to locate the website. A red flag that you are on a fake site can be misspelled words, bad grammar and slightly altered web addresses.

Most importantly, act immediately if you’ve become of victim of phishing. Notify your financial institutions and the companies with whom you have the exposed accounts with right away. For more tips on how to protect yourself from phishing emails, go to bbb.org/scamtips.

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