In a written alert Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service warned consumers that scammers are sending bogus emails known as “phishing” and phony text messages known as “smishing,” claiming to be from the USPS.
“These messages are prompting unsuspecting consumers to confirm their personal delivery information by clicking a link or downloading an attachment, that, when opened, can activate a virus and steal information such as usernames, passwords and financial account information,” the USPS alert stated.
Postal inspectors said consumers should be aware that the USPS does not send text messages or emails about unclaimed packages or delivery attempts.
To help consumers beware of the scam, the postal inspectors issued the following tips:
- Do not click on any links or attachments.
- Do not give out personal information. Be aware that USPS does not notify customers of package delivery attempts or request personal information via email or text.
- Examine the message closely. Poor grammar and spelling errors are a good indication that the email is fraudulent.
- Verify the identity of the sender. Take the time to ask yourself why the sender is asking for your information.
- Start making safety and security practices routine. Keep your security software and applications up to date.
The USPS said consumers can report smishing or phishing by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- For text messages, without clicking on the web link, copy the body of the suspicious text message and paste into a new email or attach a screenshot of the text message showing the phone number of the sender and the date sent.
- For emails, simply forward it. Provide your name in the email.
- Include any relevant details in your email such as 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.
For more information on other USPS scams, visit uspis.gov/tips-prevention.