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 got a voicemail from Marc, who turns out was named Marchystal Someone?!? Then got a text from Apple saying I had 6 viruses! How is that possible? I am not staying on a site long enough for someone to get that much information.. I just want them to stop

    Mar 22, 2021
  • anon

    Received several texts claiming to be a USPS UPDATE: A Parcel with an id number (that does not look like the typical USPS Tracking number) is pending delivery in our warehouse. To avoid extra fees, please confirm a delivery time - then includes a link. Did not click the link and deleted text. Texts continue to come periodically.

    Mar 22, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text from “Willie” at USPS. He said my parcel is pending delivery in our warehouse. To avoid extra fees, please confirm delivery time. There was a link to click on as well. Beware of these texts. I haven’t ordered anything, and I’m sure it’s a scam.

    Mar 21, 2021
  • anon

    I got several emails saying USPS was confirming my change of address request. I DID NOT REQUEST A CHANGE OF ADDRESS,

    Mar 19, 2021
  • anon

    Keep getting a text but I am scared to click on it. How can I know if it’s real

    Mar 19, 2021
  • anon

    Is there one that claims to be from Amazon?

    Mar 22, 2021
  • anon

    I get USPS SCAM texts almost everyday

    Mar 19, 2021
  • anon

    I received 2 text messages today claiming to be the USPS warehouse wanting me to click on a link to schedule a time for delivery.

    Mar 19, 2021
  • anon

    Received a text message this morning around 530 claiming to be Postal Service with a box in the warehouse that I need to pick up real soon or I’m gonna get charged if you things fishy about this first I have no packages that should’ve been delivered within 48 hours second US post office is government this means two things one not gonna text me at 5:30 in the morning you guys have cushy jobs second The website wanted me to click did not end in.gov the last thing phone numbers from out of state I can definitely understand if it was maybe a large city am a state and not local but multiple states away forget about it not clicking it

    Mar 19, 2021
  • anon

    Receive a email from some one claiming to be USPS today. Gave a false tracking number. Telling me that you have a package and need more money to deliver!

    Mar 17, 2021
  • anon

    I was sent an email that they couldn't deliver a parcel. Like an idiot I gave them my information they asked for a dollar

    Mar 17, 2021
  • anon

    Received a text today saying our delivery was rescheduled due to a signature being required. There was a link provided but not anything indicating USPS or .gov so I didn't click on it

    Mar 16, 2021
  • anon

    Got one today from USPS stating package out for delivery, click here to track 7yt/43c (someting like that)

    Mar 15, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text from "Jane of USPS" saying they tried to deliver my package today but it is returned back to us. Please contact us here ASAP. Text provided a link I did not click.

    Mar 15, 2021
  • anon

    Yes I received a USPS fraudulent text. I I knew it was a scam cuz I haven’t ordered anything. They were asking for $2.13.

    Mar 15, 2021
  • anon

    Received a text from Mike from USPS saying my package was not delivered and sent back to us. Text provided a link which I did not click.

    Mar 15, 2021
  • anon

    Received fraudulent message:

    Mar 14, 2021
  • anon

    Got a text from Marc of USPS. Tried to deliver a package but was returned. Made no sense. It came from a 631 area code and contained a fraudulent link.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    received a text from kevin saying they tried to deliver my package today (i havent ordered anything in weeks) but it was returned, and to contact them click the link that was sent. thank god im not the only one getting these lol i get so many from “amazon” too.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    My text was from Marc

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    So a few days ago I disputed a charge because I never received a product I had ordered. I contacted the company directly. No response. I contacted Pay Pay. Pay Pal was able to contact the seller. The seller then forwarded “delivery confirmation” which was from UPS saying when the package had been delivered. In the notes section it stated that the package was left at the shed. I don’t have a shed. So I have been actively contacting pay pal to try and get my money back. They said case is closed. Now today, I get a text from “USPS” saying Hey this is Marc from USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it was returned back to us. Please contact us here ASAP followed by a link that is not UPS I’m just wondering if there’s a connection My next step is to contact the real USPS about my original package Maybe they will be able to connect the dots if this is somehow connected So glad I just this came up so quickly when I typed into search bar

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    The same thing happened to me. My last usps text state that ID #____ is pending delivery.

    Mar 19, 2021
  • anon

    Just received a text from Marc from USPS that they tried to deliver a package but it was returned to them. A fraudulent link followed with instructions to call ASAP.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Got a text from “Kevin” at USPS today. With a fraudulent link as well.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Got the same text from "Kevin" just now. It had a 631 area code. Figured it was spam and didn't click the link!

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text today from someone posing as a USPS worker(Kevin) saying that they tried to deliver a package but couldn't and that I needed to click a link to contact them. I never click unreadable links. Why would the post office send me a text to a link that looks like y78fb.skdu.cine(<<made up) when I have an app for them and I receive emails daily showing me what I'm getting in the mail daily? But I'm younger...no telling how many times it has worked on people that are unaware of scammers.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Just received a text from Kevin

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Same text from Kevin today too.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I got the "Kevin" message saying that my package came back to them

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text from “Jane” regarding a package with a link that i didn’t click, from area code 631.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Jasper. Thank you for your message. Regarding your concern, please contact the Postal Inspection Service’s website at https://www.uspis.gov/news/scam-article/smishing/

    Mar 15, 2021
  • anon

    "Kevin from USPS" is at it again!

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I just got the same text message from usps from Kevin trying to deliver a package

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same text from “Jane”.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Whoever “Kevin” is that is sending texts needs to take a hike!

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I just got a text from “Jane” this morning. The area code was 631. Glad I checked here first!

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I have been getting several text messages from a 631 area code saying “Marc” from usps is trying to deliver a package to me today with a phishing link. I get at least one fraudulent text a day from the same 631 area code. It SUPER ANNOYING!!

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Received a text message out of the blue from "Jane" at 0245 in the morning. Saying "Hey, this is Jane of USPS, we tried to deliver your package today but it is returned back to us. Please contact us here ASAP" with a weird link at the end. Which was suspicious cause there was no USPS in the link and no https:// either. Also, I don't get text message notifications of parcels arriving, nor do I think Postal Employees are allowed to text customers regarding their parcels as that would be informal and irrational. So, they're getting creative and they're depending on victim's stupidity to click on the link to simply put it. If you see a link from a weird source, please don't click on it if you don't want any malware or virus on your phone.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Hello. Thank you for your message. Regarding your concern, please contact the Postal Inspection Service’s website at https://www.uspis.gov/news/scam-article/smishing/

    Mar 15, 2021
  • anon

    I've gotten a text message from Marc from USPS and I don't know if it is a fraudulent link.

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    Got a text message Kevin from USPS saying missed package deliver when the my Mail Person just hand delivered my mail to me. With a fraudulent link.

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I received text this morning from Jane at USPS saying they tried to deliver a package and a link to text them. I have ring doorbell and no one tried to deliver a package. I’m not clicking on link. This is a a scam.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    just received the same text from 'Kevin', maybe he and Jane are an item?? Blocked text number ,would never open that!

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I have the text message from “Kevin” saying I’ve missed my delivered parcel. Nobody click the links!!

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    thank you everyone for your comments. I was concerned when i go the "this is Kevin of the USPS.... " text today. so glad this resource came up when i googled this so i didn't worry. Thank you everyone!

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I received the message: “In-transit now your USPS package of 2 items Is out for delivery. Real time tracking here” with a .me link included. It was from a 631 area code, not the shorter number I’ve received USPS shipping updates from before.

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Jeff. Thank you for your message. Regarding your concern, please contact the Postal Inspection Service’s website at https://www.uspis.gov/news/scam-article/smishing/

    Mar 15, 2021
  • anon

    Text message was sent using a 677 area code. The message was telling me that there was a pack that was returned without giving a reason why. It provided a link that did not seem to be legitimate. A portion of the link had "ojobs" in it.

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I just received a text from Kevin but he must be on the move since it is now a 631 area code! Number blocked!

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    FYI it’s still circulating I got the text message today that says “Hey this is Jane with the USPS we are having trouble delivering a package to you” with the fraudulent link.

    Mar 12, 2021

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