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 (5)

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  • anon

    I still receive these kind of messages in my inbox. It's so frustrating. I been receiving these messages for about 3 to 5 months now

    Jan 16, 2021
  • anon

    have my stimulus been delivered

    Jan 15, 2021
  • anon

    Received a text message about a USPS pkg delivery that I’m sure is a scam. Cannot find a way to forward the text, or report its phone number to USPS, assuming they investigate where it’s coming from. If USPS doesn’t want the info, shouldn’t it be passed along to an entity who does? Where should USPS scam texts be reported?

    Jan 14, 2021
  • anon

    I received two - three separate texts over the past 2 months. At first, I thought it was real and clicked on it. I gave some personal info and waited for a response so I investigated further and realized it must be spam. Now I'm not sure if they are using my personal info. I didn't give credit card info or social security #. After, when I received the other ones, I blocked the texts and figured it was spam.

    Jan 12, 2021
  • anon

    Not surprized. Indulgence in such disruption distorts and miniaturizes the good work of the fine governmental agency that you are. I commend and celebrate the fine institution that you are. Sincerely...

    Jan 11, 2021

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