Tara M., Wisconsin and Diane S., Wisconsin have inquired about an e-mail they received concerning UPS uniforms being used by terrorists. Here is a sample of the various forms of the message being sent via chain e-mail:
Security Alert: $32,000 worth of UPS uniforms have been purchased over the last 30 days by person(s) unknown. Law enforcement is working on the case however no suspect(s) have been identified. Subjects may try to gain access by wearing one of these uniforms. If anyone has suspicions about a UPS delivery (i.e., no truck but driver, no UPS identification, etc., contact UPS to verify employment). If you see or have seen a UPS delivery from an unknown driver please ask for proper ID and be alert to any suspicious packages or deliveries. Please notify building security or appropriate law enforcement.
Myth Blaster Verdict:
A version of this alert (first circulated in June 2003) picked up the signature block of someone from theU.S. Department of Homeland Security:
Management Program SpecialistU.S. Department of Homeland Security
Bureau Customs and Border ProtectionWashington, DC 20229
A group of insidious emails that have been making the rounds since June of 2003 – and have been unusually pervasive recently – claim that several thousand dollars worth (or huge shipment of) UPS uniforms are ‘missing’ or have been purchased on eBay by an unknown buyer. Given the heightened fears about security issues since 9/11, the accounts are written in such a way as to make the reader assume that these UPS uniforms are in the hands of terrorists – and that they’ll be used by al Qaeda members to impersonate UPS delivery drivers for terrorist purposes.
There are various versions of this hoax, like presented at eBay Forum …
On Wednesday November 22nd in the afternoon while driving home I heard an announcement on KTU radio out of NYC that there was a large upswing in the amount of purchases of UPS uniforms in a one week period. … I am trying to find out more information because I only heard this announcement one time and then never heard anything again, and can’t find any mention of it in the news on radio or on line …
If you don’t have enough on your mind these days, some Internet pranksters are trying to sow worries about terrorists dressed as your friendly, trusted UPS delivery person.
Should we beware of UPS deliveries? That’s what a Maryland reader asked last week after receiving a troubling e-mail … Circulated in the intelligence, law enforcement and security community since February, various versions of the e-mail have now leaked into public in-boxes and a few online discussion groups. … But the e-mail apparently is an unsubstantiated rumor or a hoax.
… Reports that a shipment of UPS uniforms is missing are simply not true. There is no missing shipment of uniforms. As for alerts regarding uniforms being purchased by an individual, this matter has been investigated by law enforcement with UPS’ involvement and cooperation and resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. UPS does not condone the sale or unauthorized use of its uniforms. UPS investigates reports of such unauthorized use but due to security concerns, we are not at the liberty to discuss such matters in any further detail.
So, if you see the friendly person in a familiar brown uniform with the UPS patch on it, be assured that he is not a terrorist. And besides, terrorists do not hit private homes. They are looking for places that many people gather so they can do their dirty work.