It’s an all-too familiar cycle. New types of communication channels bring new types of deception. Telemarketing brought robocall scams, the growth of email brought about phishing, and now, as more companies communicate with customers through text messages, comes… smishing.

What’s smishing? A fraudulent text message pretending to be from a reputable source – your bank, for example, or the U.S. Postal Service. Usually the message tries to get the target to reveal personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers, or to convince the recipient to click on a link that installs malware.

During an audit of the Postal Service’s social media activity, the OIG uncovered a smishing campaign which involved a third party posing as USPS, claiming to have a link to information about a package. In our recent Management Alert, Active Smishing Campaign  Masquerading as the U.S. Postal Service, OIG auditors examined the Postal Service’s response to the attack.

We reviewed Postal Service social media channels as well as USPS.com and found that at the time the Postal Service had not provided any public notification of this campaign. However, in late October the U.S. Postal Inspection Service rolled out a smishing awareness campaign on its public website.

Alerting customers to potential fraud helps protect their personal information and preserves the Postal Service’s brand, reputation, and customer loyalty.

Have you received a fraudulent Postal Service text message? What did you think when you received it?

Comments (391)

  • anon

    I receive these messages constantly and it is extremely upsetting. I hate to think of people getting duped into clicking on any of these links.

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    I receive these daily, pretending to be USPS. I want it to stop.

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    Almost every other day I receive messages from USPS about “arranged delivery for the shipment xxxxxx got changed.” They come mostly from area codes 657 and 971. I block them all numbers.

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    I recently got a text stating that I have a package waiting for delivery, but a patient was required.

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    You know, I have received two texts like this only a day or two after sending a package. Both times, they were “scheduled for pickup” on the USPS website, including my personal information and phone number. Do you think your site might be compromised?

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    I’ve received several text messages from the 518 area code saying that a parcel d livery has been rescheduled, and asking me to click a link. I haven’t clicked it.

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    I just received a text from usps regarding a shipment confirmation that the delivery date was changed to click on a link. I deleted it

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    Received same text as everyone else.....blocked and deleted it.

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    Received 4 texts from 4 different numbers stating a change in USPS delivery and to click the link. Blocked all 4 numbers.

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    I am receiving text messages indicating my scheduled delivery has been changed. I figured it was fake because I haven’t ordered anything. I blocked the number.

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    I received two emails. The second one said a dollar was needed to get my package. It looked legit so I did it. I have received no other email or notice about my package. I hope my information is ok. I did not give out any information but am worried about malware. Thank you, Christopher Pickens

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    I've gotten a few messages telling me a USPS delivery has been changed, with a link to click. Since I know I'm not expecting any packages, I simply deleted and blocked the number.

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    My husband got 2 texts and he knew he hadn't ordered anything, so he ignored it. I'll have him block the number. I use Informed Delivery from USPS, and this looked bogus. Thanks.

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    What do I do if I get a text saying usps is not delivering a package?

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    I have received the phony email several times from someone pretending to be the USPS, telling me that I have an undeliverable package. They used a really good USPS logo at the top, but the odd fonts gave it away. Good to know you're on it!

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    I've gotten 4 texts like this in the past 3 days. This is insane. I keep blocking the #s but still getting them

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    Got 2 text messages about packages didn't click on it and blocked the number

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    My husband and I both received a text message stating that our USPS delivery has been delayed and to click on a link. At first, I questioned if we were expecting a delivery and then realized that USPS would not contact me via text therefore, I deleted the text.

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text telling my my package delivery time has changed. asking me to confirm by clicking on a link. I looked up the package number in the text. it does not exist.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Received a text from a 657 area code just now— “USPS: arranged delivery for the shipment Xxxxx has been changed”. I have not mailed nor was expecting any package.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Got the same text this evening as everyone else. "USPS: the arranged delivery for the shipment xxxxxx got changed." With a link. Came from a 657 area code. Figured it was a scam so I blocked the number.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Yep I get one every 3 or 4 days

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Ive received USPS texts about delivery changes as well as "Amazon" texts telling me I have unclaimed credit with them.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Received this text message twice today: USPS: the scheduled delivery for the parcel xxxxxx has been changed. Please confirm here: (link). I did not click on the link as I suspect this is spam.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Got the same exact text today. I too did not click the link.

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    Have gotten the text a few times purportedly from USPS re:arranged delivery has changed. Wants u to click on link to confirm. Assumed scam. Have Not clicked on the link. Blocked the phone no. Wish now I’d copied down the phone no. to report!

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I also received two text different numbers in the last two hours. Saying the delivery was rescheduled with a link I haven't shipped anything or ordered anything! Don't open the link

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Had two of these text messages in the last week. I immediately suspected fraud and deleted them.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I’ve gotten two of these from different numbers and the tracking numbers weren’t even legit USPS numbers. Too few characters and contained letters. Very obvious scam. They will be receiving pictures of my bowel movements just like the free AirPod scammers.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Keep getting text messages saying my package is being detained from USPS

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I too received a text. The tracking number listed begins with "1z" which USPS does not use. 1z is a UPS tracking number.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I have received several texts regarding a parcel being redirected. There was a link to click. I ignored both. The first one was a 619 area code. The second was a 657 area code.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Received same text from 2 different numbers-USPS: the arranged delivery for the package (1) shipment (on the second) got changed. Please confirm here with a hyperlink.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I keep getting this USPS Text about arranged delivery for a package. I was expecting a package, but my contact said she did not mail it yet. I responded once indicating "I do not open unknown links and to call and I will pick up package at the post office." this stopped for a while now back with force.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I received this message from area code 470 just now "USPS: the scheduled delivery for the package XXXXXXX has been changed. Please confirm here: [LINK]" I mailed a package yesterday with the self-service kiosk and paid with my debit card. I wonder if there's some kind of data leak.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Got a fake txt bout redelivery and gave my card information

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Oh noooo!! Cancel the card ASAP!

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text stating USPS: the arranged delivery for the parcel...... I felt it was a text and checked this site. I did not open it.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Receive the same text

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Got the same text it seems everyone else is complaining about this week. A 619 number about a change in parcel delivery.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I received 2 texts from a 619 area code claiming to be Kevin from USPS on 3/30 and 04/01. Today 04/06 I received a text from a 657 area code claiming a delivery got changed.

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    I thought it was suspicious as I never supplied my cell phone number to USPS.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I have been getting these texts pretty much everyday. I thought it was a problem only because I was not expecting a package. I just block the number after looking in my email to see if I have info on my informed delivery account.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I've gotten similar messages like this for the past several days, in almost 12 hours it sends another one and another one about my package being moved elsewhere or it has returned to an owner or the first one was about me purchasing an iPhone 12 which I haven't. I thought someone was using my credit card but nope, no one was. Very strange.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I’ve received 2 fraudulent texts from uspservice after I placed an Amazon order.

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    So glad I found this page. I have a package coming tomorrow and just got this message out the blue. Figured something was suspicious since I didn’t get an email so I haven’t clicked the link. Hoping for the best!

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text from a 657 number that said, "USPS: the arranged delivery for the package 1z***** has been changed." Smelled kind of fishy so I checked the tracking number against the one I was emailed, and it was not it...

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    Thank you. Got the same number 657 with the same texting. But didn't open the link.

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    Same!

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I've received two of these text messages. Unfortunately, as I am expecting a USPS delivery, I clicked the text message link then went to another screen that said CONTINUE, which I did NOT click on. Did I perhaps unleash any real information to anybody? This is annoying - it looked legit - I should have known- GRR. Received one yesterday from a 619 area code with message USPS: the scheduled delivery for the package xxxxxxx has changed. Please click (to a link). The other was from area code 657 with the exact same message. Did I compromise anything by just clicking on 1st link (that asked for no information) but with a screen message to 'CONTINUE' which is where I stopped.

    Apr 05, 2021

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