Many area residents received similar text messages on Thursday, with someone pretending to be from the U.S. Postal Service saying: “Client, we have problems with your shipping address, please update your information.” Recipients were given a “tracking number” and urged to click on a link to a website.
The Great Bend Police Department received a call at 1:53 p.m. from an employee at the UPS Store, 5523, notifying law enforcement of “a scam that’s going around.”
The worker reported a text scam that was suddenly appearing on many mobile devices in the area. According to the local UPS store, the text mimics a UPS link that is false, not from UPS.
Whether it came from UPS or the USPS, the advice from police is this: Do not click on the link or provide data. Simply delete the scam text.
Here’s what the U.S. Postal Service says about “smishing,” or package tracking text scams:
Have you received unsolicited mobile text messages with an unfamiliar or strange web link that indicates a USPS delivery requires a response from you? If you never signed up for a USPS tracking request for a specific package, then don’t click the link! 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 (PII) 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 emails 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!
• For more information about these services and other products, visit USPS text tracking FAQs: https://www.usps.com/text-tracking/welcome.htm
• To protect yourself and others from consumer frauds, visit the fraud prevention page: www.uspis.gov/tips-prevention/mail-fraud/
• To report USPS-related smishing, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Without clicking on the web link, copy the body of the suspicious text message and paste into a new email.
- Provide your name in the email, and also attach a screenshot of the text message showing the phone number of the sender and the date sent.
- Include any relevant details in your email, for example: if you clicked the link, if you lost money, if you provided any personal information, or if you experienced any impacts to your credit or person.
- The Postal Inspection Service will contact you if more information is needed.
• Complaints of non-USPS-related smishing can also be sent to any of the following law enforcement partners of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service:
• The Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint
• The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI), Internet Crime Complaint Center (ic3) at https://www.ic3.gov/complaint