The usps posthelp scam is a fraudulent scheme that sends phishing emails and text messages pretending to be from the United States Postal Service.
The messages claim there is an issue delivering your package and provide a link to the fake website posthelp.com. Victims who visit this site are prompted to enter sensitive personal and financial information under the false pretense of resolving delivery problems.
However, posthelp.com has no actual association with the real USPS. It is a scam website designed to harvest users’ private data for criminal purposes. This guide will provide an in-depth look at how the scam operates, how to identify it, and most importantly, how to avoid falling victim yourself.
Understanding Phishing and Smishing Scams
The usps.posthelp scam utilizes two key strategies to deceive its victims: phishing and smishing. Let’s examine what these terms mean.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a cybercrime where scammers send fraudulent emails pretending to be from trusted sources. The goal is to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information like credit card numbers, account passwords, or personal identity details.
These official-looking emails often include logos and formatting to impersonate legitimate companies. They may claim there is a problem with your account that requires urgent action by clicking a link or downloading an attachment.
Of course, the links actually lead to fake lookalike sites to harvest your information or install malware. Phishing messages are a prime way cybercriminals gather financial data for theft and identity fraud.
What is Smishing?
Smishing employs the same principles as phishing but through text messages instead of email. The term smishing combines “SMS” texting with “phishing.”
Smishing messages also impersonate trusted brands like banks, delivery companies, or in this case USPS. The texts contain alarming claims of account suspensions, failed deliveries, or unpaid fees. They provide links to fake sites to trick users into entering logins, SSNs, or bank info to supposedly rectify the issue.
In reality, smishing links go to scam websites to steal personal data. The urgent call-to-action is meant to startle recipients into acting without verifying the validity of the texts.
Spotting the Signs of the usps.posthelp scam
Armed with an understanding of phishing and smishing ploys, we can now explore the specific signs of the usps.posthelp scam.
Here are the key indicators to recognize this fraud in action:
Deceptive Emails and Texts
The scam begins with unsolicited emails or SMS text messages pretending to be from USPS. These may be disguised as automated notifications about delivery attempts, shipping delays, unpaid fees, or other issues.
Some examples of subject lines and messages you may receive:
- USPS Delivery Attempt Failed – Urgent Update Required
- USPS: Additional Shipping Fee of $2.99 Required to Complete Delivery
- USPS Alert: We Were Unable to Deliver Your Package Today
The messages sound worrisome to compel urgent action without thinking. The texts may also originate from spoofed 10-digit numbers resembling USPS customer service.
Links to posthelp.com
A core indicator is the inclusion of links leading specifically to posthelp.com rather than the official USPS website.
The emails and texts will insist you need to visit this site to resolve the mentioned delivery snag. This should immediately raise suspicions.
Requests for Personal Information
The fake USPS messages will claim that you need to provide personal details in order to fix the alleged issues preventing delivery. This is a massive red flag.
Real USPS notifications would never request sensitive information over email or text. But the scam tries to elicit account passwords, Social Security numbers, credit card data, or other identity theft targets.
Fake Tracking Numbers
You may notice that the phishing emails and smishing texts include fake USPS tracking numbers. These are randomly generated numbers designed to add legitimacy to the scam shipment alerts.
But in reality, entering the tracking numbers on the real USPS site will yield error messages that they are invalid or do not match live shipments.
Who is Behind the posthelp.com scam?
The masterminds behind the posthelp.com scam are cybercriminal groups aiming to steal personal information and money. By masquerading as USPS, they leverage public trust in the postal service to lower people’s guard.
These scammers operate anonymously across international borders, using fake identities and masking their digital footprints. This makes them difficult to track down and prosecute.
They aim to cast as wide a net as possible, bombarding inboxes and phones with fraudulent messages. Even a low response rate can yield a lot of victims for identity theft schemes.
It requires constant vigilance by consumers and ongoing investigations by authorities to counter evolving phishing and smishing campaigns like the usps.posthelp scam.
How They Try to Trick You on usps posthelp.com
The scam artists invest significant effort into making usps posthelp.com look convincing. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how they manipulate victims on the site:
Harvesting Your Email and Phone Number
Your email or mobile number is the first piece of data they aim to acquire. The initial scam messages are sent en masse to purchased bulk lists. Any responses help the scammers identify active targets for further exploitation.
The usps posthelp.com website is designed to closely mimic the look and feel of the real USPS site. This includes appropriating the USPS logo, branding, fonts, colors schemes, navigation menus, and more.
Filling Out Online Forms
Once on the site, you are presented with online forms prompting you to enter personal information to supposedly correct the delivery issue mentioned in the phishing message. The longer they can keep you on the site, the more data they can gather.
Collecting Identity Details
The forms ask for a range of sensitive details the scammers can use for financial fraud. This includes your full name, date of birth, home address, phone number, email address, and crucially, financial information.
Expect requests for credit card numbers, CVV codes, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, driver’s license details, and more.
Retrieving Login Credentials
In addition to asking for identity and financial account data directly, the scammers may trick you into providing usernames and passwords for sensitive accounts.
For example, they may claim to need you to log in to verify your USPS delivery profile. In actuality, this captures your credentials for future fraud.
Beyond collecting information through the website forms, the scammers can also infect your device with malware by getting you to download files disguised as needed software or shipping label attachments.
This malware can covertly monitor your activity, mine cryptocurrency, and siphon more personal data.
Offering Fake Customer Support
To keep you on the hook, the site may provide links and phone numbers for so-called customer support to assist with the contrived delivery problems. Any engagement with these contact options simply plunges you deeper into the scam.
Since they already have your attention, the fraudsters may also send you to affiliated scam websites selling fake services related to your supposed delivery woes.
For example, they offer paid package tracking tools, shipping protection plans, address change filing, and fast refund processing – all completely fabricated services designed to extract payments or additional data.
As you can see, the scammers employ in-depth psychological manipulation and elaborate ruses to maximize what they can steal from each website visitor.
What Happens When You Provide Your Information?
Understanding the grave risks of providing data to usps posthelp.com can help you comprehend why you should avoid its pleas to enter your details at all costs.
Here’s what happens when you submit sensitive information on the fraudulent site:
With personal details like your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, and address, the scammers can commit identity theft by impersonating you and opening fraudulent accounts. This can destroy your finances and require months to undo.
Credit Card Fraud
Handing over credit card numbers, expiration dates, and CVV codes enables the criminals to make unauthorized charges to your accounts or clone your cards for in-person fraud. This can saddle you with costs for items you never purchased.
If you provide usernames and passwords for your financial accounts or email services, the scammers can easily access and take over these accounts. This grants them access to even more of your sensitive data.
Medical Identity Theft
Details like your health insurance information opens the door to medical ID theft, where scammers impersonate you to obtain medical services and prescription drugs. You are then left with huge unpaid healthcare bills.
Driver’s License Fraud
With images of your driver’s license, the scammers have proof of identity documentation to facilitate much larger types of fraud in your name, from real estate scams to tax fraud.
Downloading any files from the site risks infecting your computer or smartphone with malware that compromises the entire security of that device. This can allow monitoring of your activity and interception of account logins.
As you can imagine, the cumulative effects of privacy invasion, financial theft, and compromised accounts can be devastating. It can take victims countless hours and immense effort to undo the damage – not to mention restore peace of mind.
Heed Warnings from the Real USPS
The legitimate USPS has issued frequent warnings advising consumers not to provide information to suspicious websites that claim to be affiliated with the postal service. Here is what they say about the ongoing scam:
USPS Does Not Send Unsolicited Messages
USPS reminds customers it does not send unprompted emails or text messages asking for personal information. Any such messages purporting to come from USPS should be treated as fraudulent.
Ignore Claims of Undelivered Packages
If you receive any notifications about an unclaimed or undeliverable package, ignore them. USPS does not contact customers about stalled or held packages, let alone request data to release them.
Never Provide Information via Email/Text
Under no circumstances should you provide sensitive personal or financial data in an email, text message, or website linked from an email or text. This is always an indicator of a scam.
Contact USPS to Confirm Notices
If you are ever unsure about an alleged USPS notification, reach out directly to USPS customer service at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) to confirm if it was sent by them and is legitimate.
Heeding USPS warnings can help protect you against providing scammers the means to commit identity theft and financial fraud through your data. When in doubt, pick up the phone and call USPS directly.
How to Report the posthelp.com scam
Once you identify any communications purporting to be from USPS involving links to usps posthelp.com or requests for your personal information, it is vital to report the scam attempts. This helps curb the threat and alerts other potential victims.
You can report scam emails, text messages, and websites to the following authorities:
✅ Federal Trade Commission: Report the scam at reportfraud.ftc.gov or by calling 877-FTC-HELP. The FTC can help take down the website.
✅ FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center: Submit a complaint to the FBI’s IC3 at ic3.gov to join fraud reporting databases accessed by law enforcement agencies.
✅ Better Business Bureau: File a scam report with the BBB at bbb.org/scamtracker/us/reportscam to help document and investigate scams.
✅ CTIA: Forward scam text messages to SPAM (7726) to provide mobile carriers with numbers for blocking.
✅ Phone Service Provider: Report scam phone numbers to your phone provider. They can block numbers originating smishing campaigns.
The more victims who speak up about the usps.posthelp scam, the more likelihood authorities can track the criminals behind it and disrupt their deceitful operations. Your information contributes to fighting back against phishing and smishing fraud.
How to Protect Yourself from the Scam
Now that you know how to identify the scam and can recognize the threat it poses, here are crucial tips to avoid becoming another victim statistic:
Never Click Links in Unsolicited Messages
If you receive a text or email out of the blue claiming to be from USPS, do not click on any links it contains. Navigate to USPS.com directly in your browser if you want to check notifications. Links are how scammers redirect you to the phishing site.
Call USPS to Verify Dubious Notifications
Reach out to USPS customer service at 1-800-ASK-USPS before taking any action requested in an email or text. Confirm if the notifications are real and if any response is actually needed on your end.
Check the Sender’s Address
Carefully examine the sender’s email address or phone number. Scam senders often use spoofed addresses resembling but not matching the real USPS domains and hotlines.
Be Wary of Requests for Personal Data
Real USPS notifications will never request sensitive information like Social Security numbers, bank details, or account logins. Any such requests over text or email are clear warning signs of a scam.
Avoid Downloading Attachments
Never download attachments in unverified emails, as they may contain malware. Stick to official app stores for USPS mobile apps you may want rather than sideloading from unknown senders.
Use Antivirus and Antispyware Software
Protect your devices with updated antivirus and antispyware products to scan for and block scam links, phishing websites, and malware. This provides an added defense against phishing.
Turn on Two-Factor Authentication
Where available, enable two-step verification for accounts like email, financial logins, and others. This requires you to enter a unique code from your phone when logging in from new devices, preventing unauthorized access with stolen passwords.
Monitor Accounts for Suspicious Activity
Keep a close eye on your financial accounts and credit reports for any signs of unauthorized access, charges, or new accounts opened in your name which could indicate an identity theft attempt.
What to Do if You Were Scammed
If you entered any sensitive information on usps posthelp.com, take the following steps right away to contain the damage:
✅ Call banks and credit card companies to block any compromised cards and accounts. Monitor statements closely for fraudulent charges.
✅ Place fraud alerts with credit reporting bureaus and consider a credit freeze to restrict access to your credit reports in order to prevent credit fraud.
✅ Report identity theft to the FTC and your local police department to start a paper trail in recovering stolen funds or reversing fraudulent activity done in your name.
✅ Change passwords on all potentially compromised accounts, giving priority to critical financial and email logins that may have been exposed.
✅ Scan all your devices with trusted antivirus software to detect and remove any malware or spyware the scammers may have installed through downloaded files.
✅ Closely monitor your credit reports and financial account activity for any signs of misuse of your personal information provided to the scammers. Report any detected fraud right away.
✅ Contact companies where the scammers tried to open new accounts or get medical services under your identity to inform them of the ID theft. Have any unauthorized accounts closed.
✅ Speak to your healthcare providers if medical identity theft is suspected. Have them attach a notice to your records that new accounts should not be opened under your name without proper verification.
✅ Staying proactive in addressing any compromised information greatly reduces the odds that the scammers can capitalize to ruin your finances. But preventing the initial data loss through awareness is the best remedy.
Educate Yourself and Others
Education is one of the main lines of defense against prevalent scams like the usps.posthelp scam phishing scheme. Take the time to routinely inform yourself and loved ones about the latest techniques scammers use in the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape.
You can stay on top of emerging cons through resources like consumer protection blogs, fraud advisor websites, security company alerts, and official notices from agencies like USPS or the FTC when new campaigns are identified.
Knowledge truly is power when it comes to combating sophisticated scams. Share information, warnings, scam reports, and prevention tips with your family and community to help protect their identities and assets as well.
The usps.posthelp scam provides a perfect case study into how crafty cybercriminals exploit trusted brands and urgent-sounding phishing tactics to lure unsuspecting consumers into identity theft traps. Law enforcement works diligently to shut down these fraudulent operations, but citizen awareness of the scam methods is the ultimate checkmate.
By recognizing their sneaky phishing emails, smishing texts, and convincing fake websites, we can keep our personal data guarded and avoid enabling their malicious intentions.
Stay vigilant against any communications using a sense of urgency or requesting sensitive information, no matter how credible they may appear. When in doubt, reach out to trusted contacts at USPS directly rather than through unverified channels.
It also pays to be generally wary of any unsolicited notifications about account issues. The scammers behind usps.posthelp scam are always adapting their schemes to ensnare more targets. But staying informed of the latest protection strategies will help you stay many steps ahead and shield yourself from victimization.