The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) provides mail processing and delivery services in the country, so it’s not surprising to receive a delivery notification email from it. Unfortunately, scammers are impersonating USPS and sending emails saying that your scheduled delivery failed or changed.
You could be an easier target if you use USPS to send packages or expect deliveries frequently. But don’t fall for this scam and never give your personal information.
How does this USPS email scam work?
We looked into the official USPS sources and the latest news on this type of scam. We also read real-life stories of those who got scammed this way and what they did about it and gathered some tips from security and ID theft experts.
It’s essential to understand the different tactics fraudsters use to trick people. You can easily fall victim to scams if you don’t know what you’re up against.
So read until the end and learn the biggest red flag to watch out for when you receive a delivery notice from USPS.
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What are the latest USPS scams?
USPS delivery scams have become quite common in recent years, and they’re making rounds from time to time. Here are the new USPS scams you need to be aware of:
The US Postal Service reports that criminals send USPS email notifications with the subject line “Delivery Failure Notification.”
Is the USPS email you received a scam?
If you’re not expecting any delivery or didn’t send any mail recently, it probably is. Scammers create official-looking emails with the USPS logo, and some even make it appear that the message came from the Postmaster General.
The emails state that you have provided incomplete address information, so the USPS has been unable to deliver your parcel. You’ll be asked to click a link or download an attachment to schedule a redelivery.
But the link or the attached file contains a virus that can steal your information, including usernames and passwords.
Scammers can access your financial information, allowing them to transfer funds to their accounts or apply for a loan under your name.
Through the USPS redelivery scam, fraudsters may also ask for a small charge to re-deliver your parcel. According to the Florida-based WINK News, scammers usually charge a $3 delivery fee. This is a recent tactic, especially with the demand for COVID-19 test kits distributed through the USPS.
But does USPS send email messages?
According to the agency, it doesn’t send emails regarding package delivery attempts.
The USPS also doesn’t request personal information via email, so if you receive a similar message, it’s one of the latest USPS email scams.
Aside from sending bogus emails, scammers also send USPS delivery scam texts to their victims.
In smishing, you’ll receive a text message with a link indicating that the USPS needs your response to deliver your package successfully.
But once you open the link, your phone may be infected by malware.
The official-looking website will ask for your personal information like usernames, passwords, and birthdate. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to provide your Social Security Number (SSN) and credit card information.
Giving out your SSN to strangers may put you in dangerous situations because scammers may use it to commit different types of fraud. Aside from applying for loans using your identity, they can get your government benefits and tax refunds.
How to spot USPS delivery scams?
The problem with phishing emails is that they usually look legitimate. But if you look closely, you’ll see some red flags.
Here are some signs of USPS bogus emails and texts:
1. Poor grammar and spelling errors
Scam emails and texts usually have grammatical and spelling errors because they don’t undergo quality inspection. Fraudsters only focus on getting personal information from their victims and don’t care about sentence construction.
Some scammers may also not come from the US, so they’re not fluent in English.
2. Sense of urgency
Scammers also want their victims to act immediately, or there will be dire consequences. This sense of urgency or fear motivates people to provide sensitive information, and fraudsters take advantage of it.
3. Request for personal and financial information
Government agencies, including the USPS, will not ask for your sensitive information through text messages or emails. If strangers claim they’re USPS employees and need your credit or bank account details, they’re scammers.
4. Includes a link
A bogus sample email from the US Postal Inspection Service shows a link to reschedule delivery.
Ben Michael, the Vice President of Operations of Michael & Associates, said that if you ever receive a message that looks like it’s from USPS and contains a link, don’t click on it. The redelivery link is the biggest red flag to watch out for when you receive a notice from USPS.
The link may include malware or spyware that can infect your device and steal your information.
5. Certificate errors
If you opened the link, you might see certificate errors on your browser. It means that you shouldn’t trust the website.
If you see a warning message, such as “Your connection is not private,” close the website immediately. Scammers may have obtained the security certificate fraudulently.
How to protect yourself against USPS scams?
Your primary line of defense is yourself if you know what to do. Here are the best tips to protect yourself against the latest USPS scams.
- If you receive bogus messages, report the fake USPS email to [email protected], then delete the email.
- Check if the sender’s email address is the same as the official USPS’.
- Never click the link or open the attachment included in the text or email.
- Refrain from giving out personal or financial information to strangers who pose as USPS employees.
- Contact USPS if you think there’s a problem with your parcel. Take note that USPS doesn’t send messages regarding delivery issues.
- Block the sender, if possible, then delete the text messages and emails. This way, scammers won’t be able to send other scam messages to your phone number or email address.
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Is it helpful to know the latest USPS scams?
Now that you discovered the two methods of USPS redelivery scams, you can better protect yourself against these fraudulent acts. You won’t panic over delivery issues since you know that USPS doesn’t send package updates through email.
What you need to do is report the incident to the USPS so you can help prevent this scam and safeguard your information from prying eyes.