USPS Address Confirmation Text Scam
Posted January 18, 2024
This is a P.S.A. to provide valuable information on a matter that affects us all.
As I indicated in a recent newsletter, web page, and blog post, shipping from SBS4DCC has been significantly affected by inclement weather this past week.
I have received reports from customers who have received a coincidental text message from what appears to be the USPS this week asking for additional information or requesting payment of additional charges of a shipment.
Please note the USPS will never contact you about this matter unless you explicitly request tracking updates through YOUR account on the USPS website.
THIS IS A SCAM!
Do not reply to this text... it is not real. It is not from the USPS and it is not associated with SBS4DCC in any way. There are numerous reports of this scam across the country.
THIS IS A SCAM!
My teenage daughter very recently fell prey to this nefarious activity after placing an order on the WDW (you know... the most famous mouse on the planet...) website. Because of certain details about the transaction and her lack of knowledge or training to spot phishing techniques, she thought the inquiry from the USPS seemed reasonable and real. The graphics are high quality and there aren't many clues that indicate it is fraudulent.
The scam starts with a text message from the USPS saying your package is delayed and they need you to confirm the delivery address. When you open the link in the text it says something about paying for additional shipping or other needs and requests you to provide a credit card number. You get a reply saying the card is invalid and to provide a different card. This continues as long as you keep feeding in card information. They have now harvested your credit card information.
Two details in this text that immediately stood out to me to indicate it was fraudulent were the country code of the sender not being in the USA (or not +1) and the page link being a .top format which I do not recognise.
A few days later you will get a phone call from your bank. In our case, the caller ID actually displayed our bank and branch information and the area code was local. The person on the line will tell you they are a fraud prevention specialist and that your card and account have been compromised and that you need to act quickly to prevent further losses. They will tell you there is an attempt to commit the fraud in process as you speak with them. They will make the matter seem very urgent and very serious so that you don't spend time thinking about the situation.
They will ask you to provide your PIN number and other information for account verification.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER PROVIDE YOUR PIN NUMBER TO ANYONE OVER THE PHONE OR TEXT OR EMAIL!
They will then tell you to select the YES option in an email you are about to receive and the reply 1 to the text message you are about to receive.
If you stop to read the information closely, the email and text are actually legitimate communications from your bank asking if you recognize the transaction their accomplice has just made, at an Aldi in Texas in our case. By replying with YES and 1 you are actually saying that you do recognize the transaction. You have just approved the transaction, the fraud has just occurred and you have just lost your money.
They are trained to walk you through the event very quickly and they are quite convincing with their routine.
They will continue to try to extract additional information they can use to further their fraudulent activity in your name. When you start asking questions, they will offer to let you speak to their supervisor whom you probably spoke with last time you were at the branch located at such 'n such address. The address is real and correct, they are likely googling it as they are talking to you. The whole ruse is well rehearsed and well performed. The officers of our local police department were quite impressed with quality of workmanship and grammar and the exacting detail of this scam as we filed our report of suspected identity theft.
I repeat... Do not reply to this text... it is not real. It is not from the USPS and it is not associated with SBS4DCC in any way.
Police said USPS has issued a warning and the community needs to stay informed and vigilant.
Here are the key points:
- Personal Information Request: Beware of any text messages claiming to be from USPS requesting personal information. The USPS does not use text messages to obtain such details.
- Exercise Caution: Be wary of unsolicited messages that allege issues with a package delivery. Scammers often use such tactics to deceive individuals.
- Verify Communication: If you receive a message that seems suspicious, take the time to independently verify its authenticity by contacting USPS directly through official channels.
- Authentic USPS Tracking Updates: USPS tracking updates will be from a 5-digit number. Be cautious if you receive tracking messages from unfamiliar or suspicious sources.
To report a suspected USPS scam, email firstname.lastname@example.org or forward the message to 7726.