Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Don’t get smished – Text messages are a new trap in identity fraud

June 26, 2024


The Postal Inspection Service is warning USPS employees and the public that scammers are using text messages to steal personal data — a scam called smishing, short for SMS phishing — to commit identity fraud.

Scammers do this by sending a text that appears to be from a bank, government agency or a well-known company.

The message may contain urgent language, warning of a problem. Included in the message will be a link or number to call. If you click or call, scammers will go after your Social Security number, usernames, passwords and other sensitive information.

Here are tips from the Inspection Service to avoid getting hooked:

• Verify the source: If you are unsure about the authenticity of a text, contact the company or organization directly before you click on the link or make a call. Use contact information from a bill or an official website.

• Block, delete, report: Without clicking on any links, copy the message. Then block the sender, delete the message, and report the message to the Federal Trade Commission.

• Review your cellphone bill: Monitor your bill for unauthorized charges or changes. Report them to your carrier immediately.

The Inspection Service is promoting identity fraud awareness throughout June. The agency’s website has more information.

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