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USPS scam texts: what you need to know

Someone showing their friend a USPS scam text they received on their phone.

USPS text scams often target your money or personal information. While they can be very convincing, there are tips you can use to learn how to spot them. Keep reading to find out how USPS scams work and how to avoid them. Then, get comprehensive online security software to help protect against malware, unsafe sites, and other online scams.

How USPS scam texts work

USPS text message scams work by creating a sense of urgency around securing your account or solving an important delivery issue. These texts are a form of smishing (SMS phishing) and often include links to fake USPS websites that aim to collect your personal information.

Scammers spoof the texts so they appear to come from USPS® directly. And they embed malicious links that lead to fake USPS sites or immediately infect your phone with malware.

What a scam text from the USPS looks like

USPS scam texts use pretexting, which is a form of social engineering, to convince you to willingly expose sensitive or confidential information. To know if a USPS text is fake, look out for the following signs:

  • Improper grammar, spelling errors, or punctuation
  • A missing tracking number
  • A tracking number that isn’t valid on the USPS website
  • Any link — USPS doesn't include links in texts
  • A sense of urgency
  • A request for extra delivery fees
A text from a USPS scam with a fake link.

Does USPS send text messages?

USPS does send text messages, but only if you request tracking. USPS will never send you a text message if you haven’t signed up for notifications, and if you do, the messages are free.

If you request a text message about package delivery, USPS will include the following information:

  • Sender (USPS)
  • Tracking number
  • Delivery status
  • Date, time, and location for available pickup
  • Instructions on how to stop further text updates
 An example of what a real USPS text message looks like.

How to protect yourself from USPS scam texts

To help protect against USPS text scams that may be targeting you, or to prevent harm if you do receive one, follow these steps:

  • Double-check that the text is real.
    Check that the sender says USPS, but remember that this could be spoofed. Also, look for information you should expect to see, such as your tracking number, delivery status, and the option to stop receiving notifications.
  • Don’t click links.
    USPS doesn’t include links in text messages. If you ever see a link, it’s almost certainly a USPS text scam, so don’t click it.
  • Don’t open attachments.
    An attachment in a text could be part of a USPS tracking scam or redelivery scam promising you further details about your package. Scammers can also use attachments to try to install malware on your device.
  • Block spam numbers.
    Stop spam texts from landing on your phone by blocking spam numbers when they call or text you. Over time, this helps spammers realize you’re not going to engage and can deter other spam numbers from contacting you.
  • Don’t reply.
    Never reply. Don’t even respond with “stop” or “no” — by doing so you’re confirming your phone number is active, and you’ll likely be hit by more spam. Real USPS text messages always give you the option to opt out of notifications, but it's safer just to do it via their official site.
  • Check your phone bill for extra charges.
    Check your cell phone bill for unauthorized charges. If you notice any, report them to your service provider immediately. Doing so can help catch scammers targeting your area.
  • Install antivirus software.
    Install a reliable antivirus solution, like Norton 360 Deluxe, to help keep malware like viruses and spyware off your phone. The best antivirus software also helps protect you from malicious links and attachments that may be hidden within USPS scam texts.
  • Report USPS scam texts.
    If you think you’ve been targeted by a USPS text message scam, report it to USPS. First, take a photo of the text with another device or carefully take a screenshot without clicking the message, then delete the text. 
A graphic explaining how to protect yourself from USPS scam texts.

Defend against online scams

Dealing with USPS text scams and other delivery scams can often appear like a never-ending battle. And even if you know what to look out for, it’s always possible that you accidentally click a dangerous link.

That’s why it’s so important to use powerful online security like Norton 360 Deluxe, which can protect against online scams by helping to block malicious links and websites and keep malware off your phone.

FAQs about USPS scam texts

What number will the USPS text me from?

Instead of a number, the sender will just say “USPS.” Always check texts carefully because hackers and scammers can impersonate organizations like USPS and make the texts look very convincing.

What happens if you click on a spam text link?

If you click a link in a spam text message, use a trusted antivirus app like Norton 360 Deluxe to run a malware scan right away.

Does USPS charge a redelivery fee?

Scheduling a redelivery with USPS is free. You know you have a USPS redelivery scam text when it requests you pay a fee.

What does a USPS tracking number look like?

A standard USPS Tracking® number has 22 digits (for example, 9400 1000 0000 0000 0000 00). Global Express Guaranteed® and other USPS services may follow different patterns. USPS tracking scam texts won’t normally have your correct tracking number.

Note: USPS® is a trademark of the United States Postal Service.

Crissy Joshua
  • Crissy Joshua
  • Cybersecurity writer
Crissy Joshua began her tech career writing how-to guides on device performance and optimization. Her focus has now widened into issues related to emerging digital threats and online privacy, with a commitment to helping people understand the forces shaping their digital lives.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc. 


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