Even though the way we use the US Postal Service (USPS) has evolved over the years, it remains a vital part of our daily lives, facilitating everything from sending packages to receiving essential documents. However, scammers have exploited this reliance, targeting vulnerable victims with various mail scams. Here are some of the biggest mail scams happening right now that you should be aware of:
Guarding Against Various Mail Scams
1. “Brushing” Scams
Imagine receiving an unexpected care package at your doorstep. While it may seem a pleasant surprise, it could be part of a “brushing” scam. These parcels contain items you never ordered and often need return addresses or sender information. They are usually sent by international third parties seeking verified buyer status. This status allows them to manipulate ratings and reviews on your behalf, potentially harming your online reputation. Notify the retailer and monitor your credit card activity if you receive unexpected packages.
2. Smishing Scams
Smishing scams target victims through text messages, pretending to be USPS tracking requests or package delivery notifications. These messages include links that can steal personal or financial information under the guise of “address confirmation” or requesting a small postage payment. Be cautious of any text message claiming to be from USPS, as they will never include links in their messages. Do not click on URLs or reply to such messages; instead, report them to authorities and relevant companies.
3. Email-based Scams
Traditional mail is also being used to gain trust in email-based scams. Victims receive messages about failed delivery attempts or requests for small payments, which link to websites aiming to steal personal and financial information. These emails often contain poor grammar spelling mistakes, and create a sense of urgency. Forward suspicious emails to the USPS and delete them.
4. Identity Theft
Mail-based identity theft involves criminals stealing incoming or outgoing mail to gain access to sensitive personal and financial information. To protect yourself, drop off essential documents in blue collection boxes close to their pickup time or send them from a post office location. Regularly monitor your credit report and credit card activity to detect any suspicious activity quickly.
5. Junk Mail Scams
Junk mail may seem minor, but scammers have used it to run costly scams. These schemes often promise large cash prizes, lotteries, sweepstakes, or contests that require a small fee to claim the winnings. In reality, the scammers take the money and disappear. Beware of letters that seem too good to be accurate, and report repeat offenders to authorities.
In a world where technology plays a significant role, it’s essential to stay vigilant against mail scams that can compromise your personal and financial security. Always exercise caution and report any suspicious activity to protect yourself and others from these scams.