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 one from Jane stating they tried to deliver my package

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I just received the same text message from Jane

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I got one from Kevin Today saying that they attempted to deliver a package, but it was returned to them. The message contained a link. I received it minutes after receiving a legit message from another delivery service saying that a package had been delivered.

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I just received this text too.

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I've received a same text msg today as well, also with the link.

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    Got the same text as some you from “Jane”. This is obviously a fraud. As people have mentioned, the grammar is wrong and starts with “Hey”, etc. Please pass on the warning to your local post office, local media, and friends and family .

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I just received the same message. Started with “Hey this is Jane”. I thought since when does the postal service start a communication with Hey

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I think I received a SPAM text. It says "Hey This is Kevin with USPS, we tried to deliver your package today but it is returned back to us. Please contact us here ASAP.. and there is a link." of course I didn't click it. How can I check if there are delivery issues, I am expecting packages.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    Just got the exact same as above, thank you for sharing

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I've got the same message

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I got this exact text and I am having trouble locating a package. Looked too suspicious for me to click the link and I’m glad I didn’t!!

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I got that exact same message.

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same exact text message today. I am not expecting any packages so I did not click on the link either!

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text of a problem with my shipping address. Then a link to a site that looked just like USPS site. There they ask to confirm your address then for your credit card number to charge to redeliver package. I called usps and this was not a valid tracking number and they dont ask for another charge to redeliver a package. Almost got me! I was expecting a package.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    Just received one at 3:58 am from “Kevin with USPS” about a package I missed being delivered. Total scam! I wish there was a way the cops can track these creeps.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I got the text message from Jane saying USPS was having trouble delivering my package with a link to click. Smishing is picking up lately and it's tiring.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    A text message was sent to my cell phone today, 3/11/21, saying that my USPS package of 2 items is out for delivery and giving a link for real-time tracking. I haven't ordered anything.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same txt.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    I just receive the exact same text. Did not respond either. Have no packages ordered.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same exact text today. I actually am waiting on a package that due for delivery today, so I clicked on the link but realized that my package I am waiting for is through UPS & not USPS. I quickly stopped the page from loading once I realized it like a second later. Hope nothing bad happens to me :(

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text from Kevin that my package was being returned. I thought it could be legit because it was my first time shipping through PayPal and I wasn't super confident I did everything correctly. The grammatical errors in the text gave me pause, so I did a quick google search.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I received one of these texts this morning: In-transit now your USPS package of 2 items Is out for delivery. Real time tracking here [link omitted] At first I fell for it because I was half asleep. Glad I was too lazy to open the text.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    SAME!! And then I ACTUALLY had a package delivered, like within 3 minutes, so I was confused. Thought I’d do a quick Google before opening the link.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text message from someone named Marc saying they tried to deliver a certified letter yesterday and it had a link to click on. I didn't click on it or order any of the "prizes" that were offered, but just wanted to make you aware. Thanks and have a great day!

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I just got a text from a Jane about a package delivery. Weird thing I called the post office yesterday about a package that was not delivered on Saturday. Sender said it was delivered but I didn't receive it. Called USPS and provided tracking number. Haven’t heard back. Now I get this text.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same text. I thought it was fraudulent.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same message at 5am this moening. I will not click the link cause I believe it's not legit as I have not ordered anything in the past 2 months.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Today, I also received a text message from "Jane" ......... that I should click on the link that my package was not deliverable. My first clue ... this person began the text with .... " Hey this is Jane" ..... I do not believe any government agency would begin a text with "Hey" ..... so that should be clue number 1. My second clue is the link she wanted me to click on did not have a DOT Gov ( .gov ) if the USPS would contact you it would have .gov or USPS.com this did not. PLEASE PLEASE Be vigilant of these clues.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I guess I'm not the only one to receive a text from Kevin. Received it today, 3-11-21, at 6 am which I thought was odd. "Hey, this is Kevin of USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it is returned back to us. Please contact us here ASAP (suspicious link)."

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    We received the same text from "Kevin" just now.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    Just received this text msg: “Hey, this is Marc of USPS, we tried to deliver your package today but it is returned back to us. Please contact us here ASAP (sketchy link)” Doesn’t seem real b/c it doesn’t resemble the USPS text updates which I generally sign up to receive. Grammatical mistakes. Scary.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    Just got the text from Marc. Hard pass.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I did get a message from Jane at Usps and a link. I then googled and it lead me to your webpage. Crazy how different techniques are used to get people to go to malicious websites.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    Same message this is Jane USPS your package was returned to us click the link below

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    Received the same text as others this morning from Jane at 5:31 AM. I knew I didn't have a package coming, nor that I would have text updates regarding one. I just remembered about it and wanted to see if others were talking about it.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    Received the message "In-transit now your USPS package of 2 items is out for delivery. Real time tracking here re5d.me" at 7:05 AM this morning. Looks like a phishing scam so I didn't try the link.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    I got a post from Marc saying unable to leave a package.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text saying that usps tried to deliver a package and to contact them via click

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    Got a text from Kevin with USPS with a link today at 12:20pm

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    Got a text from “Hey this is Kevin ...”

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    Got the text from jane with the shady link

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text a few minutes ago ---- 10:15 am from Jane at USPS saying they are having difficulty delivering a package and requesting I click on a link for follow up.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    I got text also from Kevin saying same thing but I blocked and deleted it and didn't click the link in the text.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text from Jane today.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    My message from Jane came at 6:01am.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    I just got that same text from Marc. Hey, this is Marc of USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it is sent back to us. Please contact us here ASAP (link)

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    Just got the same message from Marc.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Me too

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    Me too.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I just got the same text message. From marc. It's sad you can't even trust anything. I'm glad I found this info. I didn't respond to it.

    Mar 10, 2021

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