You’re expecting a package delivery via USPS and have received a text from the Post Office with details of the delivery.
However, you do not remember setting up text alerts with USPS and you are not sure whether the message is safe.
What should you do next?
Let’s take a look…
Summary: Does the Post Office Text You About a Package?
USPS will only send text messages or e-mails regarding a shipment if the customer has requested the service for that specific tracking number. Furthermore, USPS delivery alert emails and texts do not contain clickable links. if you did not initiate the tracking request for a package directly from USPS and you receive an alert that contains a link, this will be what is called a Smishing, Package Alert Scam.
Does the Post Office Text You About a Package? – Guide
First of all, let’s look at the legitimate USPS text tracking alert service.
Setting Up USPS Text Tracking From Your Phone
The easiest way to set up text tracking is by sending a text to USPS with your tracking number.
Simply send a text to 28777 (2USPS) with your tracking number as the content of the message. You will then receive a reply with the latest tracking update regarding the package.
If you would like to receive a text once the package has reached a specific step in the delivery process, you can text the tracking number to the same number (28777) and include a keyword.
Example keywords include:
|AA||All past and future activity on the package|
|AF||Future activity only on the package|
|AP||Previous activity only on the package|
So, if you wanted to find out all past and future tracking activity of the pack you would text to 28777, the following: 1234567891011 AA (where the digits are your specific tracking number).
You can also text “KEYWORD” to 28777 to receive the list on your cell phone.
- Related Content: What Does USPS “Reminder to Schedule Redelivery” Mean?
Setting Up USPS Email Tracking From The Website
To set up USPS email tracking (also known as Informed Delivery) for a package, you can follow these steps:
- Go to the Informed Delivery page of the USPS website
- Click on “Sign Up for Free” at the top of the page.
- Enter your mailing address and click “Continue.”
- Verify your identity. USPS will ask you a series of security questions to confirm your identity. Once you have answered these questions, click “Continue.”
- Create an account. Enter your email address and choose a password for your Informed Delivery account. Then, click “Continue.”
- Verify your email address.
- Set up notifications. Choose how you would like to receive notifications about your mail and packages, including email notifications and daily digest emails.
- Start using Informed Delivery. Once you have completed these steps, you can start using Informed Delivery to see what mail and packages are scheduled to arrive at your address, along with any related tracking updates.
- Related Content: My USPS Package Arrived in my City Then Left – What Now?
Smishing Package Tracking Text Scams (USPS)
So, if you have not carried out any of the above steps, (i.e did not initiate package tracking) and you have received a text with tracking details, you have likely been the target of a smishing scam.
- Related Content: USPS Tracking: “Forward Expired” – What Does it Mean?
What Exactly is a Smishing Scam?
A smishing package tracking text scam is a type of scam that involves the use of text messages to trick people into revealing their personal information or installing malware on their devices.
The scam is built into the text message you have received that looks like it has come from USPS.
In most cases, the fake message will contain a link or a phone number that the recipient is instructed to click or call to track their package.
- Related Content: Registered Mail vs. Certified Mail: Ultimate Guide
REMEMBER: A REAL TRACKING ALERT TEXT FROM USPS WILL NOT ASK YOU TO CLICK ANYTHING
When you click the link or call the phone number from the fake smishing text, you will be redirected to a fake website or automated phone system that is designed to steal your personal information.
Victims that think the text is real, then end up giving away details such as their name, address, and credit card details.
In some cases, the website or phone system may also attempt to install malware on your device.
In other words, you need to stay well clear of this.
- Related Content: What Does “Package Research Case Closed” Mean? (USPS)
How to Report a USPS Smishing Scam?
If you receive a USPS-related smishing scam, you should report it immediately to the USPS by following these steps:
- Take a screenshot of the text message and any associated phone numbers or links.
- Forward the message to the USPS by sending it to the number 7726 (which spells SPAM on most phone keypads). This will report the message as spam to your mobile carrier and USPS.
- If you received the message via email, you can forward it to USPS at email@example.com.
- If you have fallen victim to the scam and have provided personal or financial information, you should contact the USPS Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455 or file a complaint online at https://www.uspis.gov/report/.
- You may also want to contact your financial institution to report any unauthorized transactions or potential fraud.
Reporting smishing scams is important as it helps the USPS and other law enforcement agencies to track down and prosecute scammers.
It can also help to prevent others from falling victim to similar scams in the future.
- Related Content: Why Did My Package Go Farther Away – USPS Tracking
Overall, USPS has a very good package tracking text service, however, you will only have access to it, if you initiate the service for a specific shipment.
Even then, the tracking texts you receive from USPS will never include clickable links or ask you for personal details.
If you receive any such text, it will be a smishing scam and you should report it to USPS immediately.
- Related Content: The USPS “Moved, Left No Address” Tracking Alert
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂