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 text statimg hi this is Jane from USPS.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text today saying “Hey, this is Jane of USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it is sent back to us. Please contact us here ASAP with a link to click. It seemed odd since I never gave USPS my cell number, so I blocked it and did a search online for USPS text messages which brought me to this site.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    I’m having a similar issue. Same text message, but mine is from “Kevin from USPS”

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I got the text from Kevin this morning

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text today saying "This is Kevin of USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it was sent back to us. Please contact us here ASAP (with a link to click on)". I received this at 6:45 in the morning. It seemed strange, so I came here and see that many others have gotten this same spam text.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    Just got the exact same text, at 6:15am.

    Mar 11, 2021
  • anon

    I received 2 text messages. Due to transportation problems I do alot of online shopping and receive a lot of text messages regarding delivery. If any of them seem to be even just a little out of the norm I do not click on the link and contact the company immeaditily and report it then when possible I block the source. But the ones I received trying to represent the USPS were not even close to the texts sent by the usps.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I too, got a text from Kevin.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I got the Kevin text today. Clicking on the link took me to a USPS survey and an ad for Greek yogurt, Went no further. Survey said completion would entitle me to a prize reward. Interesting thing is that my wife and I talked about Greek yogurt this afternoon just before text came in. Scanned phone and deleted text.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    Received a text today saying that it was Marc and they tried to deliver a package and couldn’t so to click a link to contact them right away

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    Got a text msg saying my mail was sent back and to click a link

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I got this message today and didn’t click it: Hey, this is Marc of USPS, we tried to deliver your package today but it is sent back to us. Please contact us here ASAP *insert sketchy link*

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    Text from "Kevin of USP, we tried to deliver your package today but it is sent back to us." Clearly a scam and not from a native English speaker.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text today saying “Hey, this is Kevin of USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it is sent back to us. Please contact us here ASAP (and a link to click on). It seemed fishy, so I blocked it.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    same message from “Kevin” today!

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    Yea I got one of those yesterday too but from a Jane.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    Same

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I got same text but it was a Marc

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    Just got my text from Kevin too.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I got the Kevin one this morning.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I just received the same one.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    i got the same one too my name is kevin too and i was like hmmm wth?? i clicked the link and asked for survey thats when i read this post from the usps saying not to click it and well.... hopefully nothing happens too late anyways.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    Yeah apparently Kevin has my package lmao. Good thing I was born in '91 and not yesterday.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I received 2 texts in the night that said my recent package was not delivered and needed more postage. I clicked on link provided and entered my name/address. Next step they wanted my credit card info to charge me $3. I then did not enter more info but tracked the tracking # they provided on USPS.com and the tracking # didn’t exist.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I got this text "Hey, this is Jane of USPS, we tried to deliver your package today but it is sent back to us. Please contact us here ASAP (link removed)" I don't have a package on the way. My phone has been blowing up with spam text and calls and many of them with my 13 yr old son's name. I had to turn my phone onto "do not disturb except for contacts" it got so bad. I literally couldn't even finish typing this before I had another spam call pop up. I'm thinking of changing my number.

    Mar 08, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Justus. 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 10, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same text. It's not the first and won't be the last I'm sure. >:(

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I just recieved the exact same text. I know i didn't have a package coming so I knew it was a fake text.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    What should I do? I really thought it was real and clicked the link...

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    Same here...exactly the same message received. I didn't click on the link or reply and marked it as spam with my cell company but wanted to check to see if there was any other guidance if we needed to submit anything to the USPS IG

    Mar 08, 2021
  • anon

    Received this today: “ In-transit now your USPS package of 2 items Is out for delivery. Real time tracking here tq5q.me”. Figured it was Phishing so didn’t click on the link.

    Mar 08, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same message today

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    I've never had spam from "My name is Jane" until I gave USPS my phone number for text tracking.

    Mar 06, 2021
  • anon

    Same! Just submitted my info for them to find a lost package and I get a text from “Marc” from USPS about a package that was sent back to them. I didn’t click the link.

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    Same here. Jane

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    Got this today as a text... In-transit now your USPS package of 2 items is out for delivery. Real time tracking here ov8m.me

    Mar 06, 2021
  • anon

    Hello John. 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 10, 2021
  • anon

    Hello, received a text with a re-delivery option with a tracking number and a cost of $3 to be completed with the use of a credit/debit card. Instead of making the payment I decided to use the tracking number on USPS website (because I am in fact waiting for a piece of mail). I got a message stating it could not find that tracking number

    Mar 05, 2021
  • anon

    I've never had one of these spam messages "Hey this is Jane from the USPS" before. But for the first time I shared my phone number w/ USPS text messaging site so it would alert me on the status of a package I was tracking. SECONDS AFTER USPS DELIVERED MY PACKAGE and I received the USPS "Delivered" Alert, I receive the spam text message ALERT from "Jane". This means USPS has a PROBLEM KEEPING OUR PHONE NUMBERS THAT WE SHARE WITH THEIR SMS TEXT MESSAGING SYSTEM PRIVATE. Thanks a lot USPS. If you can't protect the date you collect from the consumer, then DON'T COLLECT IT! Now the spammers have my phone number and I'll get hounded with more messages!

    Mar 05, 2021
  • anon

    In-transit now your USPS package of 2 items Is out for delivery. Real time tracking here de6xx.me

    Mar 05, 2021
  • anon

    Received the same text asked to take a survey then asked for 5.97 to ship a gift for taking the survey.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    Got this today. Not expecting packages and the link takes you to a "survey." In-transit now your USPS package of 2 items Is out for delivery. Real time tracking here de6xx.me

    Mar 05, 2021
  • anon

    Rec’d text today: Hey, this is Kevin of USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it is sent back to us. Please contact us here ASAP vr27h.com/F8lYQHAQH1

    Mar 05, 2021
  • anon

    I just got this one as well! I will be deleting it.

    Mar 09, 2021
  • anon

    Received text yesterday saying problems with address and needed to pay $3 and asked fir credit info. Unfortunately I filled it out.

    Mar 05, 2021
  • anon

    Hey, this is Kevin of USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it is returned back to us.

    Mar 04, 2021
  • anon

    I just got the exact same one 5min ago

    Mar 06, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text that said from usps that I had a parcel they were wanting to redeliver but I had to pay 3$ redelivery fee. What made it suspicious is it came to my husband cell whom orders absolutely nothing. I typed I'm the tracking number in usps site and it wasn't legit tracking number. What was scary was the link looked exactly like the usps site .who do I report this too ?

    Mar 04, 2021
  • anon

    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 et21u.com/E1S6pXiuky 1704 5075697

    Mar 04, 2021
  • anon

    Same one from Marc today.

    Mar 10, 2021

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