(WTNH) – A new scam is hitting Connecticut residents, telling them their packages from the United States Postal Service can’t be delivered.
The scam comes in the form of a text message and reads, “The carrier was unable to deliver your order because the shipping information is missing a house number.” The text also has a link that opens to what seems to be a USPS tracking website.
When residents go to enter their information, it will ask them for $3 and a security code.
This scam is hitting residents as many are expecting deliveries before the holidays.
Now that people are becoming aware about scammers pretending to be from the Postal Service they are changing things up and are now pretending to be from Fed Ex or UPS. But the scam is the same and people should never click on those links.
Instead, they should contact the delivery service directly because they know if there is an issue with your package.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the BBB’s Scam Tracker has received numerous reports this week from Connecticut residents of a USPS imposter contacting people with this scam. According to the BBB, while the scammers may only ask for $3, once they have your credit card information, the scammer will charge you much more than that.
“It then directs them to a website that looks like the official USPS website,” said Kristen Johnson, BBB. “It captures their name, their phone numbers, their address and their credit card information and then abruptly closes.”
The USPS released the following statement:
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has seen an increase in complaints from consumers claiming they have received unsolicited mobile text messages indicating that a USPS delivery was awaiting their action, with an unrecognized web link to click in the body of the message. This type of campaign is a scam, and it is referred to as smishing. Victims will typically receive a deceptive text message that is intended to lure the recipient into providing their personal or financial information. These scams often attempt to impersonate a government agency, bank, or other company to lend legitimacy to their claims. The objective is for the criminal to receive personally identifiable information 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 USPS released tips on how customers can protect themselves:
- Delete text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information. Legitimate companies don’t ask for personal information such as account numbers, tracking numbers, usernames, or passwords by email or texts.
- Don’t reply, and don’t click on links provided in the message. Clicking web links can install malware on your mobile device and take you to fake websites that look real, but are used to steal your information.
- Treat your personal information like cash: Your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and other personally identifiable information can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name without your knowledge or approval. Don’t give them out in response to a text.
- Review your cell phone bill for unauthorized charges, and report them to your carrier.
- To block spam messages – but not all incoming texts from friends and family – call your carrier’s customer service number (usually 611) and instruct them to “Block all text messages sent to you as email” and “Block all multimedia messages sent to you as email.” You also might be able to log into your account and activate these blocks there.
- Never provide your personal or financial information in response to text messages from unknown senders. Verify the identity of the sender and take the time to ask yourself why the sender is asking for your information.
- Use the same safety and security practices on your cell phone as you do on your computer; be cautious of text messages from unknown senders, as well as unusual text messages from senders you do know, and keep your security software and applications up to date.
For more information on how to spot scams, click here.