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

    What do you do if you accidentally clicked the link?

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    You should be fine clicking the link as long as you don’t download anything from the page it opens or enter any type of information into the site the link takes you to

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    I’d recommend installing Norton 360 or some other software that scans for malware ASAP. Better to catch malware dormant before it “activates”

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Got a text from a 323 number, saying “USPS: the arranged delivery for the package 1z????? has been changed.” Instead of clicking on the link, I looked up the tracking number on my shipping receipt, received when I dropped off the package.

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same one

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    After recently ordering several items to be delivered elsewhere, I received a smishing email showing additional fees required to 'reschedule' deliveries that were deemed unsafe to drop off. Uncanny coincidence given how rarely I order online. Is there an email address I can forward this to report?

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    I’ve received two texts in last 12 hrs.! Format on them is different but both state they attempted to deliver at my house and the package “was returned to them”. Since they don’t make sense on a number of levels - the wording alone is suspect - I knew they’re a scam.

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    Yes, I also received a message from "Kevin" yesterday about my undeliverable package. Scary enough, I did have an undeliverable package outstanding from Amazon! Had to call them to make sure it was fake. I have now gotten another message from USPS with a "survey" with a USPS header! However, you can easily tell its a fake survey because it's from warmyweather.com LOL not USPS. Also, don't think they are giving out $120 Amazon giftcards.

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    Looks like I'm getting similar texts to everyone. Something about a package I've never heard of complete with a sketchy link you couldn't pay me to click. Came from a 1-619 number, if that means anything or helps anyone.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    I received 2 texts now from 619 area code, too say delivery schedule was changed and click to confirm.

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    I got the text and clicked on the link! Will anything happen since I clicked? It asked me to fill out a survey which I did not....

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Just receive a text about my areanged delivery . I'm 99.9% sure it is smashing. I am not aware of any deliveries for anyone in our household and if there were, it would not be an arranged delivery. The text came from a phone number, not a "text" number.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text from Jane at USPS trying to get me to click a link. My first impression was that Jane's intro seemed to informal to be from the USPS. Hey yourself Jane!! We're not cool like that :)

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    I thought it was a scam. I've gotten two so far, and blocked the number. Clearly they use multiple numbers.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    The URL is registered in Iceland.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Seems Jane has been busy today too. Got a text message about trying to deliver a package but was unable to. There was a link, of which I didn't click. When I tried to back out of text, it said a read report was going to be sent to sender, I made sure to click cancel. Delete and block these scumbag scammers.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    My spouse and I both got these texts today. For one moment I was unsure, since I do have a USPS account and buy business supplies and use premium forwarding of mail. But when I saw that there was no identifying information at all, just a weird number that is not one the USPS uses to track, I realized it was a scam. So did my spouse. I cut-and-paste the wording in Google with the word SCAM and this notice came up.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    I’ve received texts 2 days in a row before 7am saying “This is Jane. USPS attempted to deliver a package and it was returned to us. Please contact us” with a hyperlink which leads the user to complete a survey for $120. I opened the first text and backed out when I saw the survey. I did not click the hyperlink on the second text.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    It contained a link and did not look official at all. Deleted and DID NOT CLICK on link. Started w a 619 area code. Don’t have number.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    I keep receiving a text from “Kevin of USPS” saying they attempted to deliver my package today but it was returned undeliverable and a link is provided to aid them. I have no package with USPS being received or having been shipped. And obviously, I have not clicked it.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Got the Jane text overnight as well. Glad I was suspicious.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Pam. 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/

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    REceived a text saying my package had been returned and they needed me to respond

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Received "Hey, this is Kevin of USPS, we tried to deliver your package today but it is returned back to us. Please contact us here ASAP [suspicious link]” this morning.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Received two texted messages. One on Easter about the USPS was unable to deliver a text message to me and I need to click on the link. Kevin is sending the link.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Received 2 smishing text messages in last 24 hours. I wonder if this is related to the fact that I signed up for emails from USPS that show scans of letters and packages I will receive the next day?

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Received this morning: Hey, this is Kevin of USPS, we tried to deliver your package today but it is returned back to us. Please contact us here ASAP *link*

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    So Jane seemed like a normal Anglo name so I clicked on link and entered all my personal info because I really wanted my package at 7 am on Easter Sunday. I got a little suspicious when all my bank accounts were emptied and all my credit cards were maxed out, but I’m sure that couldn’t have been sweet innocent sounding Jane, right? (Btw, all above is a joke, I didn’t click link). Please people never click on a text link unless you are actually expecting a link via text from someone. Most companies will send an email or call you if there’s a legit issue.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Thought it was a scam so didn’t click. I checked via google if USPS was aware of this.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Jane messaged me @6am on Easter Sunday telling me that they tried to deliver my package today and was unsuccessful.... (Usps isn't open on Easter Sunday and they don't come around my house until 4pm....and I HAVENT ORDERED ANYTHING)

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    I’m 70 years old & live in San Diego. I’ve gotten these text that speak of a package with a link that wasn’t USPS. I’ve never clicked on the link. I try to keep a close eye on my financials.

    Apr 03, 2021
  • anon

    Just got this text: “ 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” *insert suspicious link here* iiiiiiiim not clicking that.

    Apr 03, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text just now claiming what others have already described below. Unfortunately I've received many smishing texts and phishing emails in the past, so I knew this was probably one as well. It did not seem like the typical way USPS would alert me about a package. Besides that, most packages that arrive late, there is nothing you can do about it anyway, so it wouldn't require any action on my part (unless it had that card requesting I come pick it up from the post office) or any personal information given out. If I ever have questions, I generally do not follow links - I close out of the text or email and go the trusted website to login and see if it is valid or not. Other businesses that have been used in these attempts are Chase, Verizon, Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, etc.. the emails often have the same order number.

    Apr 03, 2021
  • anon

    Looks like Kevin & Jane have been busy in the wee hours of the day. Sneaky sneaky trying to get us to click the link in their texts/emails. DONT DO IT!! Kevin & Jane are NOT your friends.

    Apr 02, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text from Jane too. Thought it was super fishy. Thanks for letting me know she’s bad!!

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    You getting emails from Jane, too? I got one yesterday at 6:30 am and one today at 7:30 am, different phone numbers.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same message today, Easter Sunday at 7am

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Yep Jane sent my husband a text too about his package, so he sent her a text back with a picture of a massage “package!” Hahaha

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    They send me messages too. Fraud

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    This article us from January but I myself received one April 2nd. Wow I win prizes from Amazon once a week too.

    Apr 02, 2021
  • anon

    We must have the same fisher as I have been getting the package ones for months along with ones claiming I was a raffle winner with Amazon over the last couple of weeks. So annoying!

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    me too

    Apr 02, 2021
  • anon

    I assume if there was an undeliverable package, my postal worker would have left a notice in my mailbox telling me to pick it up at the post office.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    What was I receiving

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I received a message starting with USPS: Your delivery has changed or something similar to my phone number with a link. I deleted and blocked the number.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Same here. Just received it today (4/4).

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same text just now.

    Apr 03, 2021
  • anon

    I received a smishing text today

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Daryl. 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/

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    I just received a message from a 619 number stating “USPS: the schedule delivery for parcel 1Z54433 got changed. Please confirm here:” and then a link. I am expecting two packages for which I set up text updates so I clicked on the link and almost immediately realized how stupid I was. Thankfully my Safari browser alerted that it was not a safe site so I exited the page and deleted it from my history. I don’t know if deleting it from my history does anything but it made me feel better.

    Apr 01, 2021

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