WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJZ) — The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is warning the public about fake emails and text messages stating they are from the U.S. Postal Service.

These messages, called phishing or smishing, are asking consumers to confirm their personal delivery information by clicking a link or downloading an attachment, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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When the link or attachment is opened, it can activate a virus and steal information.

This information can include usernames, passwords and financial account information.

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Postal inspectors are advising the public the U.S. Postal Service would never send text messages or emails about unclaimed packages.

To protect yourself from these scams, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service reminds everyone:

  • Do not click on any links or attachments.
  • Do not give out personal information. Be aware that the U.S. Postal Service does not notify customers of package delivery attempts, or request personal information, via email or text message.
  • Examine the message closely. Poor grammar and spelling errors are a good indication that the email is fraudulent.
  • Verify the identity of the sender. Also, take the time to ask yourself why the sender is asking for your information.
  • Start making safety and security practices routine. Keep your security software and applications up to date.

Additionally, report USPS-related smishing/phishing by sending an email to spam@uspis.gov.

  • For text messages, without clicking on the web link, copy the body of the suspicious text message and paste into a new email. Or, attach a screenshot of the text message showing the phone number of the sender and the date sent.
  • For emails, simply forward it. Provide your name in the email.
  • Include any relevant details in your email, for example: if you clicked the link, if you lost money, or if you provided any personal information.
  • The Postal Inspection Service will contact you if more information is needed.
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For more information on these and other scams, consumers should visit https://www.uspis.gov/tips-prevention.