For some time a disturbing scam has been making the rounds on WhatsApp, where scammers pose from the American Postal Service USPS. This USPS scam involves scammers sending misleading WhatsApp messages, pretending to be USPS, and alleging issues with a package delivery due to incorrect address details. These messages often contain a link leading to a fake USPS website, skillfully crafted to trick recipients into divulging personal and financial information. If you get a notification regarding a package, exercise caution and avoid clicking on any links, as it could be a smishing attempt.
It’s important to note that USPS scams on WhatsApp or Message are on the rise, with scammers exploiting people’s trust and privacy expectations on platforms like WhatsApp to steal sensitive information and money. Without proper attention, these scams could impact numerous unsuspecting users.
If you come across such messages, take swift action by reporting them to both WhatsApp and USPS. Additionally, block the associated phone number. Remember, USPS does not use WhatsApp for communication. Legitimate messages from USPS will only be sent via text if you’ve requested the service, and they will NEVER contain any links. It’s always safe to stay alert and be sorry to fall prey to these scams.
What is USPS Scam text on WhatsApp?
With the holiday season approaching, scamming has hit an all-time high, and people have started complaining of receiving dumb USPS scam texts and emails all the time. The misleading USPS Scam text falsely claims the presence of an undelivered package at a warehouse, urging the recipient to provide additional information for successful delivery. The fake message says, “The USPS package has arrived at the warehouse and cannot be delivered due to incomplete address information.” The fake message also includes a sense of urgency saying, “Please confirm your address in the link within 12 hours.”
The USPS scam encourages individuals to click on a link to confirm their address, ending with a seemingly harmless wish for a wonderful day from the supposed USPS team. However, this is a deception, as cybercriminals are posing as the postal service to direct victims to a phishing site designed to illegitimately obtain personal details. USPS says that they do not send links via text message.
The initial WhatsApp communication alleges a delivery problem, citing an “incomplete or incorrect address” as the reason, aiming to instill a sense of urgency and credibility. Embedded in the message is a link that mirrors the USPS website but with subtle discrepancies, such as usps.comcihelp.com. This deviation from the official usps.com domain serves as a clear red flag.
The ultimate goal of these criminals is to harvest sensitive personal information, including account passwords, date of birth, and credit card numbers, for malicious purposes. To avoid falling victim to this USPS Scam, it is essential to exercise caution, refrain from clicking on suspicious links, and promptly report such incidents to relevant authorities. Staying vigilant is paramount to shielding oneself from potential identity theft and fraudulent activities.
Tips to avoid USPS scams
If you suspect you’ve fallen victim to the USPS WhatsApp scam, there’s no need to panic. Follow these steps to minimize potential damage:
- Check the spelling of the URL. Fake sites often have one letter that is off
- Perform a reverse search to confirm the seller is legitimate
- Track your package on the official UPS, USPS, or FedEx sites
- Cease All Interactions: If you’re still in contact with the scam website, immediately cease any further interactions. Refrain from providing additional information.
- Notify Your Bank: Reach out to your bank or credit card provider promptly to inform them of the situation. They can guide you in securing your account.
- Change Passwords: Update the passwords for your online accounts, especially those related to email and any financial services you use.
- Monitor Your Accounts: Keep a vigilant eye on your bank and credit card statements for any unusual transactions.
- File a Report: Report the scam to the US Postal Inspection Service at https://www.uspis.gov/report, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at reportfraud.ftc.gov, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at ic3.gov. This helps thwart the scammers and safeguards others.
- Alert Others: Share information about the scam with your friends and family to raise awareness and prevent them from falling victim to the same deception.
Use this experience as a lesson. Always double-check any unexpected messages related to deliveries or fees, especially if they request personal information or money.
How to report a USPS scam?
USPS is aware of these scam messages and advises against clicking on unfamiliar web links. According to their website, “If you never signed up for a USPS tracking request for a specific package, then don’t click the link! This type of text message is a scam called smishing.” Smishing, a combination of “SMS” and “phishing,” involves cybercriminals sending deceptive text messages to lure victims into sharing personal information.
USPS emphasizes that it will not send customers any text messages or emails without a customer-initiated tracking request with a valid tracking number. Stay vigilant to protect yourself from such scams in the future.
To report any suspicious messages, report the USPS scam on both WhatsApp and USPS:
- Open the message thread.
- Press and hold the message bubble.
- Click on ‘Report.’
- Tap the person’s name at the top.
- Scroll down to ‘Report.’
- Compose a new email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Copy the content of the suspicious message without clicking on any links and paste it into the email.
- Attach a screenshot of the message, displaying the sender’s phone number and the date sent.
- Provide relevant details, such as whether you clicked the link, lost money, or shared any personal information.
- Include your name and contact information.
Following these steps will aid both platforms in investigating and taking necessary actions against the scam. Timely reporting is crucial to protect yourself and others from falling prey to scams.