Attention all online shoppers and package recipients! There’s a new scam in town, and it involves text messages claiming to be from the United States Postal Service (USPS). The message contains a mysterious tracking number that starts with “US9514961195221,” but don’t let its legitimacy fool you. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the details of this deceptive scheme and provide tips on how to protect yourself from falling victim to it.
Despite its convenience and ease, online shopping has grown into an industry worth billions of dollars. Online stores have become so popular that users from all over the world now rely on them for even the most basic necessities, ready to wait days for their favorite products to arrive.
Sadly, scammers have started targeting customers through text messages to capitalize on this reliance. To make sure your hard-earned money doesn’t fall into the wrong hands if you’ve been victimized by the US9514961195221 text scam or something similar, read on to find out what you need to do.
What is a Text Message Scam?
Similar to vishing, text message scams (also called smishing) are fraudulent schemes carried out via text message by scam artists. A scammer sends a message that appears to be from a credible source (in this case, the USPS) asking recipients to click on a link that redirects them to a website, asking them to visit the link.
When a user clicks on the link, they are directed to a website that appears legitimate, but is actually a scam designed to steal customer information. The information can include a user’s name, address, date of birth, password, and credit card information. Scammers use the data to steal hundreds of dollars, while customers remain unaware of the fraud.
An analysis of the “US9514961195221” scam
Many users have received texts from what appears to be the United States Postal Service telling them that their order has not been delivered. The message claims that in order to receive their package, they will need to provide some more information about themselves, in order for their parcel to be redelivered and reach their home in time.
A fake tracking number is stated on the message as US9514961195221.
As a result, users are manipulated into believing that this is a grave problem that must be addressed immediately because the text message conveys a sense of urgency. Because of this, many may mindlessly click on the provided link which will lead them to a website impersonating that of USPS.
It may look valid at first glance since it uses the same logo and design style as the actual USPS website. However, upon closer inspection, you may notice some flaws.
Once a user has opened the website, it will demand personal information and credit card information from the customer in order to pay for redelivery. Criminals may use this information for identity fraud, fraudulent purchases, or other bad intentions, including selling it on the dark web to criminals.
Users may be asked to call a specific telephone number to resolve their problem. Scammers may try to dupe users into paying for fictitious support services or installing a remote control tool appearing to be a computer diagnostics tool.
Once scammers gain access to a computer, they can install malware such as spyware, ransomware, or Trojan horses, steal personal information, and compromise sensitive information.
Using this scam, scammers are impersonating USPS, an organization that is operated by the US Federal Government. Consequently, most users receiving such a message will trust that the information they are receiving will be safeguarded- which makes it easy for scammers to pull off a money-making scheme.
Avoid falling victim to the US9514961195221 text scam
When confronted with a suspicious text message, it boils down to observation. Here are a few things to look out for.
There have been a number of victims who have previously reported the tracking number US9514961195221 as suspicious. Therefore, any message mentioning this number is most definitely a scam.
To fool their victims, scammers may also use a different tracking number that is also fake. USPS’ tracker tool can be found at https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction_input and you can paste the suspicious tracking number there to make sure this is not the case. The message “Status Not Available” will appear if the number is incorrect.
Grammar and spelling
Using many employees at their disposal, professional organizations like USPS provide very thorough service. Technical errors such as poor grammar and spelling mistakes may indicate more sinister intentions when a message claiming to be from a reputable source contains such errors.
If you receive any message, read it carefully to avoid overlooking any technical mistakes made by a scammer in a hurry.
Greetings in general
It may be a sign of deceit if you received a text message that begins with a generic greeting referring to you as a “user” or “customer”. As a result of your information provided at the time of signing up, corporations are able to access your full name and use it in all correspondence with their customers.
In spite of the fact that this isn’t a concrete reason to mark a text message as smishing, it may be part of a bigger picture, so proceeding with caution is the best course of action.
Linking to a shortened version
The biggest trap laid out by scammers is to provide users with a link where they are told their problem can be fixed. These links lead to fake websites that are impersonating legitimate websites. In the event that you open the link and then decide not to divulge any information, malware such as trojan horses and spyware may still be installed.
An illustration of a URL being cut (shortened) | InterNextX
Instead of clicking on links, choose to go directly to the website and search for your desired page. This way you can ensure the interaction is legitimate. If you run into any problems, you can contact a customer service representative.
The sense of urgency
The purpose of text message scams is to cause the recipient to respond immediately, so that they do not take too much time to think about the logic behind the communication.
Users are scared into thinking they have done something wrong, which, if not rectified immediately, will result in major losses if they do not rectify it immediately. Fear is the most common emotion used by scammers.
Consider taking some time to examine a text message that contains the keywords “urgent”, or “hurry” before taking action. This way, you can ensure that you are taking the right steps and avoid a disastrous situation.
What to do if I receive a fraudulent message
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Text message scams are common, so the chances of you being scammed are pretty high if you are subjected to one. If you’ve gone through the steps above and have concluded that the message you received looks fake, here are some steps you can take to protect your data and finances.
You should never click on any links.
You can then delete the message from your Inbox and your Recently Deleted folder.
You should block the number from which you received the text message.
Make sure your phone is malware-free by running a security check.
To ensure maximum security, update your Android or iOS phone to the latest version.
Send an email with a screenshot of the text message as well as the number it was sent from to firstname.lastname@example.org so others don’t fall victim.
Almost every interaction in the age of smartphones and texting is judged based on its speed and convenience. Our fast-paced lives have created a ripe opportunity for scammers to swindle hundreds of dollars with very little effort by capitalizing on users’ reliance on technology. It is crucial that you remain vigilant when communicating online at this time to avoid becoming a victim.