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Smishing: Package Tracking Text Scams

Have you received unsolicited mobile text messages with an unfamiliar or strange web link that indicates a USPS delivery requires a response from you?  If you never signed up for a USPS tracking request for a specific package, then don’t click the link! This type of text message is a scam called smishing.

Smishing is a form of phishing that involves a text message or phone number. Victims will typically receive a deceptive text message that is intended to lure the recipient into providing their personal or financial information. These scammers often attempt to disguise themselves as a government agency, bank, or other company to lend legitimacy to their claims.

The criminals want to receive personally identifiable information (PII) about the victim such as: account usernames and passwords, Social Security number, date of birth, credit and debit card numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), or other sensitive information. This information is used to carry out other crimes, such as financial fraud.

The Postal Service offers tools to track specific packages, but customers are required to either register online, or initiate a text message, and provide a tracking number. USPS will not send customers text messages or e-mails without a customer first requesting the service with a tracking number, and it will NOT contain a link. So, if you did not initiate the tracking request for a specific package directly from USPS and it contains a link: don’t click the link!

For more information about these services and other products, please visit USPS TEXT TRACKING FAQs: https://www.usps.com/text-tracking/welcome.htm

To protect yourself and others from consumer frauds, visit our fraud prevention page: www.uspis.gov/tips-prevention/mail-fraud/.

Text Message Scams PSA

Have you received unsolicited mobile text messages indicating that a USPS delivery is awaiting your action, with an unrecognized web link to click in the body of the message? Don’t click the link! This type of campaign is a scam called smishing.

Protect Yourself from Smishing

  • Think

    Verify the identity of the sender and take the time to ask yourself why the sender is asking for your information.

  • Don’t reply

    And don’t click on links provided in text messages. Doing so can install malware, take you to fake websites that look real, and steal your information.

  • Report

    Contact the bank, government agency, or company that the scam artist is impersonating so it can alert others and work with law enforcement to investigate the activity.

  • Delete text messages

    Legitimate companies will not ask you to confirm or provide personal information.

  • Block spam messages

    Call your carrier’s customer service number (usually 611) and instruct them to “Block all text messages sent to you as email” and “Block all multimedia messages sent to you as email.” You also might be able to log into your account and activate these blocks there.

  • Treat your personal information like cash

    Your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and other personally identifiable information can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name without your knowledge or approval.

  • Review your cell phone bill

    Regularly monitor your bill for unauthorized charges, and report them to your carrier.

  • Security updates

    Use the same safety and security practices on your cell phone as you do on your computer: keep your security software and applications up to date; be cautious of text messages from unknown senders, as well as unusual text messages from senders you do know.

HAVE YOU WITNESSED THIS CRIME?

If you’ve encountered this, please report the crime

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