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USPS Texted Me?


Receiving text messages from unfamiliar numbers has become all too common, but sometimes those text messages are claiming to be the USPS, UPS, or FedEx. In recent months the number of attempts to get people to fall for these fake text messages has increased and have evolved from just asking you to confirm your information to receive a package - to wanting your feedback about their services.

No matter what tactic these scammers use, they are always going to try to entice you into interacting with their message. Whether that’s by clicking a link or calling a number - either way you will not be connected to a well-known shipping company’s customer support. Their goal is to get you to react, to act quickly instead of taking the time to consider the validity of their message.

Usually these messages will direct you to a website asking for you to create an account, log into your existing account, or directly call the scammer to start a discussion about the issue they have manufactured. They will most likely also try to initiate a fee to gain access or approve the service. It might even claim to need funds to clear customs. If they aren't after money, then their goal is to get as much information about you so that other scammers can use that information to enhance their scamming tactics against you in the future.

Before you interact with that message, ask yourself:

  • Have I ordered anything recently?
  • Did I request tracking on a package?
  • If I did order something, can I use that company's website to track my item?

In most cases, those questions should easily allow you to recognize the scammers attempt to defraud you. Almost all reputable companies will send you emails notifying you of shipping details and allow you to track your order. If you receive an email for an item shipping to you, that you did not order, take caution in clicking on any links within that email.

Another good thought to have, not only when it comes to these messages, is to question if this is a normal way this company interacts with you. Does Amazon text you asking you to verify a package? Has Old Navy had issues shipping to you in the past? Even if the answers to those questions are yes, you should still be able to access order details directly from the company you ordered from - without using a link from an unknown email or text message.

The United States Postal Inspection Service has ensured their customers that these text messages are not originating from them. The only way you will ever receive tracking updates is if you initiated that request by providing them with a tracking number first. The other statement they express is that USPS offers free tools to track packages and will never request you confirm anything via a clickable link. You can read their information here: US Postal Inspection Service - Avoid Smishing Scams

The FTC has also created a series of tips to help consumers detect fake “tracking” text messages and emails. You can find that information at their website here: FTC The Message About Your FedEx Package is a Scam

If you believe you have mistakenly interacted with a text message and provided any financial or account data that could result in a loss of money - contact that financial institution immediately to discuss your options.

Remember, these scammers are getting better about their believability and there is never a foolproof way to avoid a scam. The best weapon you will have against them is education and your awareness. By reporting scams, you help not only yourself - but help others as well.

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