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 (90)

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  • anon

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

    Mar 05, 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

    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 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

    Hey, this is Jane of USPS, we tried to deliver your parcel today but it is returned back to us. Please contact us here ASAP (link)

    Mar 04, 2021
  • anon

    I've received multiple texts with the message "USPS Update. to (NAME), Parcel ID XXXXX is pending delivery in our warehouse. To avoid additional fees, please confirm delivery time: and a link for you to click on. "

    Mar 03, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text saying I needed to take a survey to prevent added charges for a package to be delivered. Is this Smishing?

    Mar 03, 2021
  • anon

    yes that is fake. keep track of what you order and follow package status on usps dot com website.

    Mar 04, 2021
  • anon

    Got this one today “ In-transit now your USPS package of 2 items will be delivered today. Please confirm availability and track real time here eb0d.me” weird since I didn’t order anything.

    Mar 02, 2021
  • anon

    I thought the message was legitimate because I have lots of packages coming in right now.

    Mar 02, 2021
  • anon

    Received this text at 6:43am. 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 provided here) If you’re going to claim To have tried to deliver a package it would be smarter to do it at a time when USPS is actually delivering.

    Mar 02, 2021
  • anon

    I got this same one today,

    Mar 03, 2021
  • anon

    Got a text message for Kevin regarding a parcel that was unable to be delivered. Told me to click the link ASAP, which I did not do.

    Mar 02, 2021
  • anon

    "Jane of USPS". Not the way Americans talk, we would say Jane from USPS. I did not click link. Blocked number (not in my area code)

    Mar 02, 2021
  • anon

    3 different texts this morning; from Marc and Jane and one unnamed. The text wants me to click on a link... I'm not expecting a package, so I didn't click...

    Mar 02, 2021
  • anon

    Just got one today. Texted stated Jane from USPS tried to deliver my parcel but it was returned back to them. No tracking info or any identifying information just a link. Super sketchy.

    Mar 02, 2021
  • anon

    Jazmin from "Post office". Urgent alert re package with a date 10 monthes prior, a package #, a link to click. Looked scammy, didn't click.

    Mar 01, 2021
  • anon

    I just got one that says: Hi, I'm Kairi of Post office, final notification regards your package [not a real tracking no.] from 4/19/2020. check here [link]. I assumed it was spam, but it's a little different than those reported here.

    Mar 01, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same message, but from “Kevin”. It was about 20 minutes after someone had been knocking at our front door (didn’t answer, was eating dinner) and I was expecting a package. Almost clicked the link, but my husband convinced me not to. Good call.

    Feb 28, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text from “Marc” with “USPS” that directed me to a link regarding a failed package delivery. I did open the link which directed me to a survey, which I did not open. Have I exposed myself to future fraudulent activity?

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    I got the same message with the same name. Immediately googled to see if it was a scam lol

    Mar 02, 2021
  • anon

    Jane texted me today as well. 2/27/21

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    Text from Marc this morning. Figured it was a scam. Didn’t open link.

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    I got a "Jane" text message, except it was from Kevin. Did not open the link and reported it as spam.

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    I got the Marc text message too...there must be someone on the "inside" cause I have 2 international packages that i just sent and for the customs forms you have to supply your phone number...I did not click on the link but am happy to find out this is a phone scam...the tracking numbers are working and seem like my 2 packages are progressing normally.

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Maria. 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 01, 2021
  • anon

    Received a text from Kevin at the USPS saying he couldn’t deliver my package with a link. I did not click the link.

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    My text said, "Hey, this is Kevin of USPS, we tried to deliver your package today but it is sent back to us. Please contact us here ASAP (removed link)" I knew something was off, because this was very different from the usual messages they send me, and I wasn't expecting anything USPS.

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same text... I did not open it.

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text message from USPS saying my package did not get delivered. I clicked on the link because I am expecting a package. Then other links came up for me to get malware protection to purchase it. Now I don’t know what to do. Did they get into my phone? It’s my information now at risk? Help!

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    Add Kevin to the list. I got this one just a bit ago. Hey, this is kevin of usps, we tried to deliver your package but it was sent back to us please contact us here asap

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    Just got the same message from kevin

    Mar 02, 2021
  • anon

    Just got a text from Kevin at 2:03am on 2/26/21 saying they tried to deliver a package and to click the link in the message. Sucks because I'm waiting for a long overdue package from Canada and am anxiously awaiting it.

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    Same as some, my is Kevin from usps, they also tried to deliver package but was returned to them.

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text from Kevin at 1:00 am which said, "we tried to deliver your package today but it was sent back to us". The timing was enough for me to know it was illegitimate, however I didn't and wouldn't clink on links in text from unknown numbers.

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Jeanette. 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 01, 2021
  • anon

    Also received a text today, from Kevin at USPS saying they tried to deliver the package.

    Feb 26, 2021
  • anon

    Got a message from “Jane” about a non existent package. With a link I didn’t open. Received it minutes ago on 2-26-21

    Feb 26, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text from Jane my USPS delivery person About a package they couldn’t deliver this morning. There was a link to click and while it looks legit started with the price they were giving me which made me feel really suspicious. Add to see others had similar texts evil people.

    Feb 26, 2021
  • anon

    I got a message from a Jane USPS with a supposed package, I didn’t open the link

    Feb 26, 2021
  • anon

    I received a text from “Marc” at “USPS” at 1:30 am that directed me to a link regarding a package delivery. The link directed me to a survey which I didn’t open up. Have I opened the door fraudulent activity?

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    Received Jane’s message today. I appreciate your sharing this info. I also have a package out but did not click on the link.

    Feb 26, 2021
  • anon

    I also just got the message: “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 removed” Glad this message board exists - I have packages I’m expecting. Even though the message is very informal and seems suspicious, it still makes you question its validity when you are waiting for package deliveries.

    Feb 26, 2021
  • anon

    I received the same message from Kevin with USPS. (At 1:20 am!) I had a package delivered to the post office the day before and I hadn’t picked it up yet. I went to the post office to get my package and low and behold, no package. I did not and will not click on the link, but the message did rate they had an issue with delivery. Really makes you question it’s validity, for sure!

    Feb 27, 2021
  • anon

    Getting a text message from Jane, "Hey this is Jane from the USPS". We were not able to deliver your package today.." I realize it's a scam, but letting you know that it happened today, 2/25/2021

    Feb 25, 2021
  • anon

    I got a test from Marc saying my package wasn't delivered got sent back along with a link. I have a package currently out for delivery by the USPS, so I totally thought it was legit. I clicked the link but the link didn't do anything. Kind of odd how the scammers were able to know that I had a USPS package currently out for delivery? The scammers must have people within the USPS that they get the information from.

    Feb 25, 2021
  • anon

    Got the same text today!

    Mar 01, 2021

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