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

    Hello Stacia. 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/

    Feb 25, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text message from Jane at USPS "we tried to deliver your parcel today but it is returned back to us. Please contact us at a link (not including it.) Funny, I don't know how they would have got my cell phone number. It's not included anywhere on any orders I get. Deleted it.

    Feb 24, 2021
  • anon

    I just got the same email. Figured it was a scam.

    Feb 25, 2021
  • anon

    People like this will use an area code such as 123 then a free fix such as 345, then they just start with 0001 and send it to every number in that area hoping that someone will not pay attention and respond. I am sure that they get responses and whatever else they want the link itself is probably not safe and can gather more information then I know of or you know of but they have their ways.

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Just got the exact same thing a few minutes ago.. thanks for posting! Deleted the message and blocked the sender..

    Feb 25, 2021
  • anon

    I recently signed up for updates on a package and yesterday the 23rd got a text from Marc saying they tried to deliver my package but it was returned back to them please contact them at this link .. I didnt click on but would really like to know if this is legit?

    Feb 24, 2021
  • anon

    Ha Ha... I just got the same test just now form Marc.... he is a busy guy. I an IN WA. state

    Feb 25, 2021
  • anon

    Ha ha mark is a busy boy he's been buging me too I

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same text message from a Marc. I have received a few from different places. I am thinking it is a scam.

    Feb 25, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same text from Marc. These scams are becoming too much

    Mar 10, 2021
  • anon

    I got one from the USPS and the link was .ca. Last I checked you were in the United States. :) I deleted it.

    Feb 24, 2021
  • anon

    A company representing themselves as the postal service change of address, then charges $75 for the service. If you google change of address it is at the top of the search.

    Feb 23, 2021
  • anon

    Got a text today (2/22/21) "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 <link>" (Link removed just in case)

    Feb 22, 2021
  • anon

    I got this same text message 2/25

    Feb 25, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same message from "Jane" on 2/22/21

    Feb 23, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same message 2/22/21

    Feb 23, 2021
  • anon

    Same 2/25

    Feb 25, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text message regarding a package undelivered from usps. It says to click the link, I did not do so.

    Feb 21, 2021
  • anon

    Me too!

    Feb 22, 2021
  • anon

    Does USPS ever text people personally claiming (with that person's name even) that they tried to deliver something but weren't able to? Example I got today: Amanda, this is Jane of USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it is returned back to us. Please contact us here ASAP [I removed link in case fraud] Please advise.

    Feb 21, 2021
  • anon

    I literally just the same message from Jane! She’s a busy lady!

    Feb 25, 2021
  • anon

    Me too ... busy busssssy!!

    Mar 12, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same message but from “Marc”. word for word

    Feb 23, 2021
  • anon

    I just got a similar txt. Sounds like a scam.

    Feb 23, 2021
  • anon

    i got the same text just now!

    Feb 23, 2021
  • anon

    Same EXACT syntax and message was just sent to me. Immediately blocked. USPS will never text you like this and identify them selves especially with just a first name like Hey this is Dylan or Kevin or whatever. BLOCK AND REPORT! Stay safe!

    Feb 22, 2021
  • anon

    I received the exact same text today with same name Jane.

    Feb 22, 2021
  • anon

    This "lady" Jane is very busy I see. She texted me as well. I guess she doesn't take any days off.

    Feb 22, 2021
  • anon

    Received this text at 9:43pm! this is Jane of USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it is returned back to us. Contact us ASAP With a link attached.

    Feb 20, 2021
  • anon

    I just received the exact text only with the name Kevin instead

    Feb 22, 2021
  • anon

    I get these fraud texts often and do not know how to stop it . Help Please . I usually delete it but they keep coming .

    Feb 19, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Carla. 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

    SPAM on here

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    Im getting email about USPS Rewards. -Postal.Service- USPS_Postal_ experience;take a survey emails. One of them does say have a package that can't be delivered. How can I stop These emails?

    Jan 25, 2021
  • 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

    Hello Rebecca. 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/

    Feb 25, 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

    How To Report USPS Related Smishing To report USPS related smishing, send an email to spam@uspis.gov. • Without clicking on the web link, copy the body of the suspicious text message and paste into a new email. • Provide your name in the email. Also, attach a screenshot of the text message showing the phone number of the sender, and the date sent. • Include any relevant details in your email, for example: if you clicked the link, if you lost money, or if you provided any personal information. • The Postal Inspection Service will contact you if more information is needed.

    Feb 04, 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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