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How to recognize fake USPS websites

Also Known As: USPS phishing scam
Damage level: Medium

What is kind of scam "USPS pop-up scam"?

It is a scam website, a fake USPS page designed to trick visitors into providing personal information. We discovered this site while inspecting other websites that use rogue advertising networks. USPS is a legitimate mail company providing postal service in the United States. It has nothing to do with this scam page.

USPS scam scam

USPS pop-up scam in detail

This scam page claims the shipment is on hold due to issues with the shipping address. It provides a fake tracking number and delivery attempt date. This site instructs visitors to click the "Continue" button to update the delivery address.

After clicking the "Continue" button, more fake details (parcel information) and the "Schedule Delivery" button appear. Following the steps on this page leads to a web form where visitors are requested to provide first and last name, address, ZIP code, city, email address, and other details to win an iPad Pro.

The provided information may be used to send spam, deliver malware, and for other purposes. It is important to mention that such pages often ask to provide credit card details and other sensitive information and (or) pay "shipping", "administration", or other fees. It is strongly recommended not to provide any information on such pages.

Threat Summary:
Name USPS phishing scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Shipment is on hold due to the issues with the address
Disguise Official USPS page
Related Domains timeforgiveaway[.]autos, goforpresent[.]autos
Detection Names (timeforgiveaway[.]autos) Bfore.Ai PreCrime (Malicious), (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (goforpresent[.]autos) Bfore.Ai PreCrime (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Incorrect URL address, irrelevant shipment information.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Similar scams in general

Usually, websites of this type display deceptive messages or other content to trick visitors into providing personal/sensitive information and (or) transferring money. Most of them are disguised as legitimate/official pages (e.g., they contain logos of legitimate/existing companies like USPS).

There are many similar scams on the Internet. Some examples are "DHL Express POP-UP Scam", "T-Mobile Customer Reward Program POP-UP Scam", and "AMAZON TRIAL POP-UP Scam".

How did I open a scam website

Deceptive websites that show fake pop-ups (messages, warnings, alerts, notifications) get opened via untrustworthy advertisements, notifications from shady websites, installed adware-type applications, and pages that use rogue advertising networks (e.g., torrent sites, illegal movie streaming pages), etc.

In all cases, users do not open such websites on purpose. Sometimes, scammers send links to these sites via email or text messages.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Do not allow suspicious pages to show notifications or click on advertisements appearing on websites of this kind. Download apps from legitimate pages and stores (avoid using P2P networks, third-party downloaders, unofficial pages, etc.).

Do not open links (or attachments) sent from unknown/suspicious addresses. Especially when received emails are irrelevant. If your computer is already infected with unwanted apps, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

The appearance of "USPS scam" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of USPS scam scam

Text in this scam page:

HAPPY LABOR DAY

Tracking Number:
US617439548341

We have issues with your shipping address

Your shipment is on hold

Dear customer,
We inform you that your shipment (US617439548341) is still waiting for instructions from you.

Failed delivery attempt 08/29/2022
Reason: incomplete delivery address

To ship your package as soon as possible, simply click the button below to update your delivery address information.

Track my package (US617439548341)

[Continue]

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused
Regards,
USPS Customer Care

Screenshot of another variant (goforpresent[.]autos):

usps pop-up scam another page running the same scam

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a pop-up scam?

It is a fake message (or other deceptive content) on a deceptive page designed to trick visitors into performing certain actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Pop-up scams are used for different purposes. In most cases, scammers behind them aim to trick users into providing sensitive information, paying/transferring money, or downloading unwanted or even malicious software.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

These messages are displayed by deceptive pages. Users do not visit them intentionally. Usually, they open them by clicking on shady ads or notifications from other untrustworthy pages. Also, these sites get opened via pages that use rogue advertising networks or installed adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan websites and detect malicious ones (including websites that show fake pop-ups). This app will warn you immediately and restrict access to untrustworthy pages.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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