Investigators issue warning about imposter USPS text scams with deceptive links

News5 viewer says she was waiting on packages and the text almost fooled her
Investigators issue warning about imposter USPS text scams with deceptive links
Posted at 5:00 AM, Dec 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 08:53:26-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Was there a holiday package you didn’t know about that got lost or stopped on its way to your home? This uncertainty is something fraudsters are hoping to capitalize on right now. News5 spoke with a viewer about her experience with a suspicious text.

If you own a cell phone odds are you’ve received random text messages from a fraudster. They’ll pretend to be from your bank, law enforcement, or in some cases government agencies. In this case the text appears to be from the United States Postal Service and contains a suspicious link that postal inspectors say could lead to trouble.

”First of all it almost got me because of the link that was provided and then I was thinking I do have packages out there,” said News5 viewer Sabine Parkinson.

Parkinson reached out to News5 because this random text message appearing to be from the USPS claimed a package intended for her was stopped and the text included a link asking her for more information.

”Even though there was a link it wasn’t right. It felt wrong. I also went to Google and I typed in that link and I typed in fake and it didn’t come back as a valid address,” said Parkinson.

It turns out she was right. News5 did some research on this and found this information posted online by the United States Postal Inspection Service

"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!” 

Investigators say the people behind these deceptive text messages are often looking to steal personal information for identity theft purposes to help them carry out other financial fraud crimes.

”That could be a can of worms that could go way deep and cause many more issues even beyond this one text,” said Parkinson. ”It’s so tempting to click on that, very scary.”

These imposter scam text messages are being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service so it is important to take time to report them.

Investigators say fraudsters are specifically after account usernames and passwords, social security numbers, birth dates, along with credit and debit card numbers. So, protect that information and never give any of that up to a random text.

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