If you're someone who shops online, which is basically everyone at this point, USPS has sent out a warning to not fall for a 'Smishing' scam.

It's not only USPS that has issued this warning either. The United States Federal Trade Commission has also warned shoppers about this potential scam, which involves your cell phone. Whether you're shopping online at your home in Iowa or you're on vacation in Bora Bora, this scam potentially affects you anywhere.

You've heard of these scams while shopping online and you've even potentially been targeted by a scammer before. This is just another reminder that if something seems too good to be true or if something feels off when you're making an online purchase...you should trust your gut because chances are, your gut is right.

Unsplash - Marques Thomas
Unsplash - Marques Thomas

Smishing Scam

If you ever receive a text message for a USPS item that seems unfamiliar to you, you're likely being targeted for a Smishing scam. According to USPS, if you receive a text message with a strange weblink from USPS that requires a response from you, do not click the link.

"Victims will typically receive a deceptive text message that is intended to lure the recipient into providing their personal or financial information."

What scammers are hoping is that you'll think you forgot about a package or you're genuinely curious about what the message is about. Then you end up surrendering usernames, passwords, credit card information, social security numbers, bank account information, etc.

For many online shoppers, this sensitive information is in their phones to make their online shopping experience easier, quicker, and more convenient. The problem with this is that this information can potentially be accessed by scammers.

Once these criminals have this information, they could potentially carry out financial crimes such as fraud/financial fraud.

USPS warns customers not to click any links that appear to be suspicious even if they are expecting a package. They ask that you report it and to track any package from USPS, visit USPS.com.  USPS offers free tools for you to track your packages.

"USPS will not send customers text messages or e-mails without a customer-first requesting the service with a tracking number."

Online scams come in all different shapes and sizes. Normalize yourself with this list of the most common scams Iowans fall for so that it hopefully doesn't happen to you!

Most Common Scams Iowans Fall Victim To

It seems like scammers are getting smarter and smarter every year. In 2023, thousands of Iowans fell victim to fraud. Here are the top ten scams that Iowans fell for.

Gallery Credit: Kerri Mac

Ranking States with Most Online Scams 2022

Here's a state-by-state look, using data available from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), ranking states by total amount of money lost to fraud in 2022.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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