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

    This same text came to my phone twice today! From two different numbers. I'm trying to figure out who to report this to.

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Just got the same text

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    I got the exact same one, thank you for commenting that so I can know I for sure got a fake message.

    Apr 03, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same message. I was hopeful that there was a way to report this as fraud and went searching and found this thread instead. I didn't click the link. I get several from Amazon and I do not support Amazon therefore I do not order from Amazon, which makes it extra obvious. This message from USPS looked like a similar set up. I'm glad that your browser alerted you.

    Apr 03, 2021
  • anon

    I just received a text stating that they wanted to arrange a delivery date for a pkg identified by a letter followed by 6 numbers, SCAM! I'm not expecting any pkgs, they're not going to get me, last week it was free earbuds from amazon! Don't fall people, it's a SCAM!!!!

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Just received a text: USPS: The delivery for order 1z5378 was changed. Click here to update with a link Immediately jumped online to confirm suspicions it was a scam. These comments confirmed.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text message that stated: "USPS: the arranged delivery for the parcel 1z55052 got changed confirm here: (insert hyperlink)." -I was confused because I certainly was not made aware to expect any incoming packages from USPS. I also know well enough to not click randomly sent hyperlinks. However, I expected these attempts within an email but not via text message.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Got the same message last night around midnight. I opened it this morning and clicked the link because I sent a package Wednesday that the USPS thought was going to a wrong address anyway. Now I’m wondering what is on my phone after I clicked it. It went through a bunch of urls and then opened a “survey” but I didn’t go past that because that definitely wasn’t normal text from USPS!

    Apr 02, 2021
  • anon

    I was sent the exact same message today

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same text. It’s a scam. I hope nobody clicks on the link.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same text today- different numbers.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    3 of us received a text yesterday about a package that was undeliverable. My package already came and the other two were not expecting a package. Fraud.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    It was a scam Tip off: the text was sent early in the morning and my mail is not delivered until late afternoon

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I got the message from “Kevin” at USPS who tried to deliver a package but it was returned. Wants me to click on a link. It looks like “Kevin” has been contacting a lot of us!

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Yep. I just received this same text from the same person named Kevin. Unfortunately, I did click the link bc I have several packages that are in transit and one that is currently at my local USPS office awaiting arrival. Ugh. I didn’t go past the linked survey. Hopefully nothing of mine is corrupted! I just received the text at 6:45 am. BEWARE OF KEVIN, PEOPLE! He is a tricky dick, I tell you!

    Apr 04, 2021
  • anon

    Yup! I got his today too! USPS April Fool’s?

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Kevin from USPS says they were unable to deliver my package today Text came 6:36 an I had been home entire day

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Got a text that looked like this "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 Didn't click on the link though, new it was fraudulent.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Recieved three texts in the past day from "Jane" from USPS saying they couldn't deliver my package. I almost clicked the link because I am waiting on a package, but realized USPS would've left a note at my door

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I got a message from “KEVIN” saying he tried delivering my package at 4am and was unsuccessful. I had a feeling it was a lie lol

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    "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." Scam. Scammy scam SCAM. Especially since I received it at 6:30am. Um. Yeah. Sure.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text message this evening that stated my scheduled delivery had been changed and to click the link to find out more. I wasn't paying attention closely and I clicked the link. As I was reading the "progress of my package" I noticed the verbiage and words used were very clearly different from what normal tracking info looks like, and at the end it said I needed to pay for the shipping. That's when I realized this was not legit. I looked at the url in my mobile browser and it was usps-NA-winneroftheday (I'm paraphrasing) and I realized this was definitely smishing. Should I be concerned because I clicked the link in the text message? That was all I did. I did not enter any personal information at all. Do I need to do anything to keep my mobile data safe? This is so frustrating and upsetting that people out there do this kind of thing.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Greta. 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

    Yeah I got this too and I was worried that since I clicked the website my phone would be hacked or at least the people would have my ip, though thankfully my safari said the website was not private and it stopped me from entering. In your case the link went through but since they were just asking for shipping money as well as information I think it’s safe to say that you are fine, you didn’t enter any information so you should be okay

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text saying it was from USPS saying delivery of a package had been changed and that I need to follow the link. I did not. I blocked the 657 # instead.

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    I just received a text from USPS saying, "the arranged delivery for the parcel was changed" and gave a link. I thought it might be fraudulant and then found this website. I blocked the 619 number.

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    I got my 1st USPS fake text today. To me, it was obviously a scam. But I could see how someone could fall for it.

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    Received a text today from USPS saying scheduled delivery has been changed. I have a package on the way, but it is being shipped with Fedex. Possible scam? My husband received a similar text months ago saying he had a package available to pick up at his parents’ house, but we live at a different address. Not to mention, he never ordered anything. So what “package” was being delivered? Be careful, folks.

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text that said, USPS: the scheduled delivery for package [the number for the package] got changed. Please confirm here: [the link]. I didn’t open it because I haven’t ordered anything..

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text from a "Kevin at USPS" saying they tried to deliver a package and that I need to follow the link. I did not. I blocked the 619 # instead.

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    I just got the exact same message

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same from Kevin at USPS trying to deliver a package with a link. BLOCKED. Call from different phone and got busy tone. Be careful. Its a scam.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I got the text from kevin this morning too. 6:35am with a link too. Did not click it. This was from a 657 area code.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Keep receiving fraudulent text.

    Mar 30, 2021
  • anon

    Received an email from USPS, claiming trying to deliver package but return with a link to contact.

    Mar 30, 2021
  • anon

    I have received many text messages saying to be from USPS. I usually block and delete, but they keep sending them, sometimes I receive them twice a day.

    Mar 30, 2021
  • anon

    I have received a text from Jane this morning saying a usps tried to deliver a package at 6 this morning. I did not open the link because I feel like this is fake.

    Mar 30, 2021
  • anon

    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 link ***************** Received above message two time since 31 march at 6:27 am exact. Seems like fake and I have not opened the link.

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I just got the same text from Jane saying that the Post Office tried to deliver a package to me but it was sent back, made no sense. Text contained a link, I did not open it. I live in AZ.

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same one , it’s a scam , don’t open

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same message, but from Kevin.

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    Keep receiving texts messages from USPS about a package being sent back when I click on the link it’s says I’ve won something and could get up to $120.00

    Mar 27, 2021
  • anon

    NEVER, EVER click on the link!! That’s the whole purpose of the scam. They try to install malware onto your phone/tablet in order to access your personal information!

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    Don’t click those links. They install malware and can get access to your information . ie. stored usernames/passwords

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    Hi -- I wasn't paying attention and clicked on the link by accident. Immediately noticed the webpage wasn't legit and turned off my phone... but what do I do now? Is there a way to prevent the installation of malware?

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I got this too... has anything happened to you afterwards?

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    I have received several texts from Jane at the USPS telling me about my package. This happens even when I have not ordered a package. I block and delete the text but they just keep coming.

    Mar 25, 2021
  • anon

    Got an email saying at empted parcil delivery. Tracking number not valid when I checked with USPS tracking

    Mar 24, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text that said “Welcome to My USPS text tracking. Reply yes to confirm your subscription” Is this a legit text!

    Mar 24, 2021
  • anon

    I got a text message that said "Postal Alert: Package in transit and may need a signature. I did not open the link.

    Mar 22, 2021

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