WICHITA, Kan. — Police departments across Kansas are warning about a scam that a lot of people have witnessed.

People have been receiving text messages and emails claiming to be from the U.S. Postal Service, “USP,” or maybe “United States Mail Service.”

The messages claim the postal service is having issues with the person’s delivery address. It goes on to request personal information so that packages can be delivered. The messages include a link to verify the address and reschedule delivery.

But the U.S. Postal Service said these texts are not legitimate and are a form of “smishing” in which scammers try to lure victims into providing personal or financial information.

Example 1

An employee at sister station KSNW got this text message:

Police say this is what some of the scam messages about packages look like. (KSN Photo)

Example 2

Another person’s message looked plain and said:

“USP – Your package delivery has been suspended because your delivery address does not match your zip code.”

(The next part of the message is an internet link, which we are not showing in this article.)

Example 3

Another person got a message that looked even more authentic. It included a logo claiming to be the “United States Mail Service.” The logo looks very similar to the U.S. Postal Service logo.

The message also had a package delivery ID number, a tracking ID number, a red alert message, and even a yellow button to click on, labeled, “Check Here.”

Do not click on the link

Police said clicking on the link will take you to a page that asks for your personal information and requests payment to have your package delivered.

Garden City, Kansas, police said other law enforcement agencies in Kansas have also encountered the scam. They said some people are also getting phone calls and letters that claim to be from the U.S. Postal Service.

Garden City police posted a message to social media saying, “Please, do NOT give out your personal or financial information.”

Andale Police Chief Mark Cook said he got this text message. He said it is a scam. (Courtesy City of Andale Police Department)

The Andale, Kansas, police chief also posted about the scam on social media. Chief Mark Cook said he got the text message on his police-issued cell phone.

“If you get a text message like this, they are scammers. Do NOT reply or give them any information or money. Not only are they using USPS, but also UPS. These are scams,” he wrote on Facebook.

If you have questions or believe you have been a victim of fraud, contact your local law enforcement agency. Also, contact your bank and credit card company immediately if you have given out your financial information.

Legitimate messages

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service said the postal service does have tools available for people to track specific packages, but customers are required to either register online or initiate a text message and provide a tracking number.

The U.S. Postal Service said it will not send text messages or emails without a customer first requesting the service with a tracking number. The legitimate message will not contain a link.

Notifying the U.S. Postal Service

Do not click the link if you did not initiate the tracking request directly from the Postal Service. Instead, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service wants you to report the smishing by emailing spam@uspis.gov.

  • Without clicking on the web link, copy the body of the suspicious text message and paste it into a new email.
  • Provide your name in the email, and also attach a screenshot of the text message showing the phone number of the sender and the date sent.
  • Include any relevant details in your email, for example: if you clicked the link, if you lost money, if you provided any personal information, or if you experienced any impacts to your credit or person.
  • The Postal Inspection Service will contact you if more information is needed.

Click here to watch a U.S. Postal Inspection Service video about text message scams.

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