Consumer Alert: The sneaky scam text message that looks authentic
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — ‘Tis the season for scammers. Because you’re likely doing more online shopping, there’s one impersonation scam that will probably hit your cell phone. It’s a text message in which a scammer pretends to be USPS. While the scam is common, I received one with a twist that I had to share with readers because it’s especially sneaky.
The text message reads:
“The USPS package arrived at the warehouse but could not be delivered.”
It then advises you to click on a link. Don’t click on it. It’s a smishing attempt. That’s when scammers send you a text with a link to try to get you to type in your private information.
Usually, the email or web address of any scam gives it away because it’s often slightly different from the real business. A real postal service web address would always begin with USPS.com. But surprisingly, the web address thIs scammer has created actually starts with USPS.com. But after the com there was a dash and more letters. It’s that junk after .com that sends you to the scammer’s address instead of USPS, making this scam especially sneaky. Astute consumers know to always look closely at the web address, and this web address could easily fool you. What’s worse, the scammer’s website is usually designed to look exactly like the USPS site.
The scam is so prevalent, U.S. Postal Service has even issued guidance on the issue. It says that USPS will never send you a text message with a link. The only way you would get a text from USPS is if you register online and provide a tracking number or you initiated the texting. Also USPS does not charge for its tracking service. Again, if you get one of these text messages and you haven’t registered for text messages on the USPS site, it’s a scam. Don’t let a grinch steal your hard-earned cash this holiday season.