As Easter approaches, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is reminding the public to stay vigilant against a rising threat: "Smishing" scams.

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These fraudulent schemes, which target individuals via text messages or emails, have recently reached North Dakota cell phones and inboxes, prompting warnings from both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

"Smishing" is a form of phishing wherein scammers pose as legitimate entities, such as government agencies or financial institutions, to deceive recipients into providing personal information or clicking malicious links. In the case of USPS-related scams, individuals may receive unsolicited text messages prompting them to click a link regarding a supposed package delivery.

The USPS emphasizes that it never sends unsolicited text messages or emails containing links. Instead, customers must initiate tracking requests themselves through official channels. The agency employs 5-digit short codes for legitimate SMS communications and advises customers to be wary of unfamiliar phone numbers or email addresses.

To combat "Smishing," the USPS recommends forwarding suspicious messages to, providing details such as the sender's phone number, the date received, and the recipient's name. Additionally, the public is urged to refrain from clicking on any links or providing personal information in response to unsolicited messages.

Online shoppers, in particular, are urged to exercise caution, especially during peak shopping seasons like the holidays or upcoming occasions like Easter. With the prevalence of e-commerce in 2024, individuals are reminded to verify the legitimacy of any communications purportedly from shipping carriers like USPS.

In response to these scams, the FTC and USPS advise consumers to utilize the USPS's official tracking tools, available through its website or mobile app, to monitor package deliveries securely. By remaining vigilant and proactive, individuals can help protect themselves and others from falling victim to "Smishing" and other fraudulent schemes in the digital age.

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