Random texts about package delivery issues pose a threat to local consumers

News5 viewer shares recent experience and was surprised by how legitimate the website looked that wanted his information and a payment
Posted at 5:00 AM, Dec 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-15 15:35:49-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — With so many of us expecting holiday packages right now, scam text messages are being sent out in huge numbers. News5 is looking into how scammers are hoping to take advantage of our neighbors who are concerned that one of those packages was lost or delayed.

If you own a cell phone you’ve probably seen a scam text message come across the screen. Fraudsters pretend to be bankers, police officers, and in this case they want us to believe they’re from the post office.

”It just looks so real,” said News5 viewer Philip Howe. “There’s an address error and they need to redirect it to the right address and all that stuff. I’m expecting packages too. So, I was like let me check this out.”

Clicking through the link on this random text message that appeared to be from the post office, Howe says he was amazed by how real the website looked, but he was able to spot some red flags. They included identifying a tracking number that didn’t match and was recycled from earlier in the year

”I looked through it. I was actually filling out a little bit and I got to a part that said payment. I said nope. That’s a red flag,” said Howe.

News5 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!” 

Here is another warning just issued by the FTC:

A disabled Army veteran, Howe says he’s often relied on package delivery over the years and felt it was important to reach out to News5 to share his experience with this random text message to warn others.

”It caught me off guard because I’m just like, was it something I was expecting? They know what they’re doing,” said Howe. “I don’t want anybody to be taken advantage of, or scammed or anything like that.”

While suspicious text messages like this are being sent out in large numbers, postal inspectors say it is important to report them so they can track the impacts. You can report those text messages here.

Also, investigators warn the people behind these convincing schemes are after both your sensitive information and payment methods. So, make sure you never give up any of that information on a website or to somebody behind a random text message.


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