Are UPS Uniforms Being Bought by Terrorists?

Read the story about the missing UPS uniforms — and learn if it’s true or an urban legend

Missing UPS Uniforms

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 a 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.

Here’s an example of one of the emails:

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 indentified (sic). 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.

More on the ‘Missing’ UPS Uniforms

Sometimes the email comes signed — supposedly by a Dept. of Homeland Security official. This signature has been proven to be a hoax.

This original rumor grew, morphed, and spread like many of these urban legends do, to the point where there was even some confusion among law enforcement agencies about the truth of it!

But UPS, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, eBay, and the FBI have all investigated the email and have made it clear that it is a hoax or urban legend, and should be treated as such.

There are no missing uniform shipments, nor have there been large numbers of uniforms fraudulently purchased by anyone.

Sales of UPS uniforms on eBay have been documented, but were cleared as NOT terrorist-related. In any case, eBay has banned UPS uniform sales since February of 2003.

UPS also wants the public to know that it runs background checks on all of its delivery personnel, and that UPS believes there is no threat to buildings or people based on deliverers fraudulently wearing UPS uniforms.

If you are suspicious of a UPS driver for any reason, ask to see his or her identification; if you are suspicious of a particular delivery, you can call 1-800-PICK UPS to verify it.

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