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Don’t let scammers reel you in

How to spot — and avoid — phishing schemes

Graphic that shows the word phishing underwater
The Postal Inspection Service is using this image in June to promote its identity fraud awareness efforts.

The Postal Inspection Service is warning USPS employees and the public of an identity theft scam to steal sensitive information, known as phishing.

The scammers use emails, text messages or websites that appear to come from trusted sources, such as banks, online retailers or social media companies.

These messages typically contain urgent requests or enticing offers with a prompt to click on a link and provide personal information. If you take the bait, criminals could use your data to commit identity fraud for their financial gain.

Here are some tips from the Inspection Service to avoid getting caught in the phishing net:

Think before you click: Be skeptical of unsolicited emails and texts with a link that asks for personal information.

Check the sender: Look closely at the sender’s email address or phone number. Scammers use addresses that mimic real ones, but there are differences.

Look for red flags: Read the messages carefully. Often, there are spelling or grammatical errors. The urgent language is also an indicator something fishy is going on.

Secure your devices: Install and keep antivirus and anti-phishing software up to date to help protect against phishing attacks.

The Inspection Service is promoting identity fraud awareness throughout June. The agency’s website has more information.