Phishing attacks and other scams are ever-present, but in recent weeks, fake shipping notices sent via text or email have been on the rise. Don’t fall in love with them.
Fraud messages imitating package delivery alerts are on the rise, possibly from groups hoping to capitalize on the increased number of package deliveries during the holiday season. The exact format varies, but most scam examples come from a text message about a delivery problem.
The messages contain a link that takes you to a website that closely resembles the United States Postal Service (USPS) website, with text fields for entering personal information and a payment method. The sites are hosted on different domains, but most of them try to trick you into paying for another delivery attempt, or just save your personal data for later.
Some variations of this scam have been on the rise in recent months: As more people order online or ship packages for the holiday season, the text is more likely to be sent to someone waiting for a delivery. The USPS Inspector General issued a warning about a similar phishing campaign in January 2021, and another wave of messages followed in late 2021.
Spam filters in some messaging apps can automatically filter out spam messages, but in case you see one, don’t tap the link. If you think the message looks legitimate, make sure the web address exactly matches the official website (usps.com for USPS, fedex.com for FedEx, etc.).