Phishing attacks and other scams are ever-present, but over the past few weeks, fake shipping notices sent over text or email have been on the rise. Don’t fall for them.
Fraud messages that mimic package shipping alerts are on the rise, possibly from groups hoping to capitalize on the increased number of package deliveries during the holiday season. The exact formatting varies, but most examples of the scam come from a text message about a delivery problem.
The messages contain a link that take you to a website closely resembling the website for the United States Postal Service (USPS), 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 will simply save your personal details for later.
Some variations of this scam have been on the rise for the past few months — as more people place online orders or ship packages for the holiday season, it’s more likely that the text will be sent to someone who is waiting on a delivery. The USPS Inspector General issued a warning about a similar phishing campaign in January 2021, and another wave of messages happened near the end of 2021.
Spam filters in some messaging applications might automatically filter spam messages, but in case you see one, don’t tap on 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.).