It’s the holiday season and you may think this latest email you received is a wonderful surprise. But the Better Business Bureau says be careful because fake email delivery notices saying you have a package coming are all the rage.

“First off no delivery company is going to send the received an email because they don’t know it. they know the email of the person who gave them the shipment, maybe of the person who placed the order,” President of the Southeast Atlantic BBB, Tom Stephens says. “But they don’t have the email address of the recipient of the delivery so they aren’t going to call. so that’s number one.”

He says if you click that link they’ll want personal information. Then they’ll want a credit card number to pay for additional charges. Maybe even a social security number to supposedly verify identity. If you do it, the only thing you’ll verify is that you’ve just participated in the theft of your own identity.

“the second thing that can happen with that link is when you click on it you’re very likely downloading some keystroke logging malware,” Stephens says.

Allowing them to copy any passwords stored on your computer. He says virus protection is key. And they’ll make it all look so real as if it is from a major carrier like FedEx and UPS.

“They’ll use a delivery receipt that may be very familiar, it may look like ups it may look like FedEx whatever and a phone number to call.”

If you’re not sure, enter their tracking number on the real company website. The truly brazen outfits will actually send a fake delivery man to your door.

“They will have a credit card processing device for you to pay that fee and it’s a skimmer…You’ve just given a crook everything he needs to build fake credit cards or build a fake ID….there is long-term money in selling the information to other crooks and then there’s short-term money in building fake credit cards and using them to buy stuff in stores,” Stephens says.

It’s nearly impossible to catch the crooks once they’ve taken what they want.

It can’t be said often enough.  Don’t give out your personal information. Legitimate carriers will not ask you for it through emails or at your doorstep.