Posted by Robert Cooper on Dec 17 2015
Watch out for fake parcel delivery scams arriving in your inbox this Christmas. More than $80,000 was reported stolen to the ACCC this year from over 1,360 complaints. There has already been over 100 reports of this scam already this December – more than last December, with only half the month gone. The ACCC is also seeing a significant increase in both personal and commercial information loss being reported to this scam, with over 350 reports this year compared to 250 in 2014.
Scammers take advantage of the busy Christmas season to send you emails about a ‘missed parcel delivery’, purportedly from trusted services such as Australia Post or FedEx. The emails may be personalised with your name and address and look to be from a legitimate company complete with fraudulent logos, they have warned.
The email may mention a fee will be charged while they hold your undelivered item. Scammers ask you to open an attachment or download a file to retrieve your parcel. If you follow these instructions, an executable file (.exe) will load on to your computer and install ransomware as soon as it is opened.
Ransomware is a type of malware that freezes your computer and demands a ransom for you to be able to access your computer again. Scammers commonly ask for bitcoins or ask you to transfer money by wire transfer. Even if you pay the fee, there is no guarantee that your computer will be unlocked. Getting an IT Consultant to fix it can take hours at great additional cost.
If you receive an email about a package, don’t open any attachments or download files. Regularly back-up your computer’s data on a separate hard drive.