Real World Examples of Smishing Attempts | Certified Mail Labels

Smishing, phishing, scams- OH MY!

Few people actually know the difference in the ever-growing types of scams, understandably so. The most important thing to remember is that if you don't know or trust the text message or email sender, don't click on the link they send you.

Every few months, cybercriminals formulate new scams to target the public. Most recently, it’s smishing text scams.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), smishing is a term used to describe a type of phishing, in which spam messages involve a text or phone number. Learn more about smishing from the United States Postal Service (USPS).

UPS Smishing Attempt | Certified Mail Labels Regardless of the bait, their goal is always the same. Scammers work tirelessly to acquire your personal or financial information. The means of getting it just evolves.

The latest smishing attempt confirmed by USPS is fake text messages in which the scammer pretends to be the U.S. Postal Service. The messages state that USPS cannot deliver your package, because of incorrect delivery information or lack of postage. Followed by a prompt to confirm your personal information on a provided link.

In some cases, you don't even have to enter your personal information. Just clicking the link allows malware to run in the background and they acquire the information that way. So, remember DON'T CLICK THE LINK.

Photo examples provided above are real world smishing attempts.

Tips for Spotting a Scam

Today, everyone is operating at 90 miles a minute. A text comes through. We quickly check it, reply, and are on to our next task.

Scammers have gotten very proficient at making their attempts look authentic. However, if we slow down and cautiously consider the validity of the source we can likely spot the scam. Below are a few tips for spotting fraudulent activity.

  1. Review the Source. Who sent the suspicious text message? Is it a random phone number or a suspicious email address? USPS always sends texts using the 5-digit SMS short codes.
  2. Closely Review the Message. Criminals create smishing attempts to look legitimate. However, they often have misspellings, incorrect abbreviations, use of exclamation points, poor grammar, and improper punctuation.
  3. Consider the Validity. In the world of online shopping and door step deliveries we can lose track of the items we've order. If you're not expecting a package then you know the tracking number is a farce. If you are waiting for a delivery, know that USPS will never send unsolicited tracking updates.

    You must opt into USPS tracking notifications. If you have not initiated text or email alerts from USPS you know the message is a scam.
  4. Urgent Matter That Requires Action. A USPS message will never include a link. If the message includes instructions for immediate action and provides a link, that is a red flag.

Things to Remember

Regardless of the scam type, there are several things to remember to keep your personal and private information protected.

  1. Slow Down. Take a moment to review the message. Think before you take action.
  2. Protect Your Private Data. Do not share your passwords, credit card numbers, social security number, address information, or personal data with anyone.
  3. Contact the Source Directly. When in doubt, do not respond to the message in question. Instead, contact the source directly at a phone number or website you know is legitimate.

What happens if you click a spam text link?

If you believe you've click a malicious link, update your software immediately. Once updated, run a scan to remove any malware.

If you've fallen victim to a scam and provided personal information, click here. The FTC breaks down each element of identity theft and how to handle the issue.

Lastly, report the scam.

Report a Scam

How do I report a scam text message? Great question!

If you believe that you've been the target of a smishing scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission. As well as, the organization or company the scam is impersonating. In this case, USPS.

Federal Trade Commission

Forward any phishing emails to

Forward any phishing texts to SPAM (7726)

You can also report scams to the FTC, here.

United States Postal Service

Forward the attempt to USPS via email,

Include your name as the subject line. Without clicking the link, copy the text and paste it into the body of the email. Then, attach a screenshot of the text.

Be sure to include any other relevant details. Such as, if you clicked the link, sent money, etc. You can expect a response from the Postal Inspection Service.

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