“Don’t click the link.” That’s the new warning from the Postal Service as fake text messages are being sent.
They contain a link claiming to be from the government. According to the Post Office, this type of text message is a scam called smishing.
Smishing is a form of phishing that involves a text message or phone number. Victims will typically receive a deceptive text message that is intended to lure the recipient into providing their personal or financial information. These scammers often attempt to disguise themselves as a government agency, bank, or other company to lend legitimacy to their claims.
The criminals want to receive personally identifiable information about the victim such as: account usernames and passwords, Social Security number, date of birth, credit and debit card numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), or other sensitive information. This information is used to carry out other crimes, such as financial fraud.
The Postal Service offers tools to track specific packages, but customers are required to either register online, or initiate a text message, and provide a tracking number. USPS will not send customers text messages or e-mails without a customer first requesting the service with a tracking number, and it will NOT contain a link. So, if you did not initiate the tracking request for a specific package directly from USPS and it contains a link: don’t click the link.