Have you received a text message claiming to be from USPS regarding a failed delivery? It may inform you that your delivery has been put on hold due to an incorrect address and instructs you to update your address using the link provided. The message may include the tracking number for your on-hold delivery, “us9514961195221,” or similar.
The text message appears to come from the US Postal Service, but it is a scam. How does the scam work? What is the best way to verify the text is a scam? And what should you do about it?
What Is the Fake USPS Failed Delivery Text Scam?
The scam begins with scammers notifying you that your delivery has been halted or failed due to an incorrect address. They attempt to deceive you by making the message appear to have come from the United States Postal Service, also known as the Post Office, US Mail, or Postal Service.
They add a random tracking ID, such as us9514961195221, and direct you to a website by including a link in the text where you are told to update your address. The website is designed to mimic the official USPS website, making people believe it’s official. A similar style, logo, and text layout contribute to its fake authenticity.
Scammers’ goal is to lure you to their sites by clicking a link. As soon as you click on the link and visit the website, the scam process begins.
Having discussed this text scam, let’s take a closer look at how it works.
How Does the Fake USPS Failed Delivery Text Scam Work?
Once you land on the scammers’ fake website that mimics the official USPS website, scammers use some common techniques to trick you.
First, scammers may ask you to confirm your address and reimburse the delivery fees. They may ask you to confirm you own the delivery and then use that as bait to get personal information from you that cybercriminals can sell on the dark web.
It is also possible for them to ask you to pay with credit cards on their website portal, which allows them to spy on the information of the credit cards, which they can later use to commit fraud.
While less likely, scammers may direct you to call on a given number. If you do so, swindlers may try to lure you into a technical support scam in which they ask yous for remote access to your computers to fill out the address correctly. And the list goes on and on…
Whatever method scammers use, you should be able to spot it before being duped by it.
How to Verify the Fake USPS Failed Delivery Text Scam
You can verify the USPS failed delivery scam in just a few minutes. If you have received such a message, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you expecting an order from USPS? If not, it’s a fraud.
- If you were expecting a package, double-check the tracking number you received via text with the one you had previously received from USPS. If the numbers don’t match, there is a possibility that this is a scam text.
- If you are uncertain about your tracking number or have deleted the email or other information you received from the USPS earlier, copy the tracking code from the text, and track it on the USPS tracking website. Scammers use outdated or incorrect tracking IDs, so you’ll receive an error saying that the item isn’t trackable for the most part.
- USPS does not include a link to its website in the text message. Even opting in and out of the service requires users to send a specific text message to an official number. So, if a text you received contains a suspicious link, stay away from it.
- Since Google or your browser may mark the fraudulent website as deceptive after receiving massive reports from users, scammers may set up a redirect on that domain, sending you to another misleading website instead. Again, to stay safe, don’t click on any links you receive within the text.
Having read the above tips, you should be able to spot fake USPS scam texts, but how should you respond once you receive them?
How to Respond to the USPS Failed Delivery Text Scam
First, you should ensure that the failed delivery text is not an official USPS confirmation by using the tips listed above. If it’s an official confirmation, you should contact postal service support to ensure there was no miscommunication on their end before taking any further action.
In contrast, if you’re sure it’s a scam, you can report the message as a scam. Nonetheless, don’t click the link included in the scam text. Avoid calling the scammers at the given number, and delete the text. After that, block the number from which you received the text to avoid getting phished again.
What to Do if You Fall for the USPS Failed Delivery Text Scam?
If you get into the trap of scammers behind fake failed delivery text scams, what should you do next?
As long as you haven’t added any personal information to the website after clicking on the link, you are pretty safe. Check your computer for possible virus infections and remove malware. Also, ensure the website you visited hasn’t hijacked your browser. If it has, remove the hijacker.
If you have used your credit or debit card to pay for the fake delivery, do contact your bank to request a refund and temporarily freeze the card to avoid scammers misusing it.
Similarly, if you have added any personal information on the website you believe can be exploited by scammers, let the authorities know. This way, you’ll be on the safe side even if they misuse it in the future.
Beware of USPS Failed Delivery Scam Texts
Scammers use innovative ideas to lure their victims into scam traps. By understanding how fake USPS failed delivery scam texts look, scammers won’t be able to deceive you. Having said that, don’t forget to help spread the word about this and similar scams.
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