the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a statement warning Australians to watch out for fake parcel delivery scams arriving in inbox this Christmas, after $80,000 was reported lost to the ACCC this year, with 1,360 complaints.
The ACCC received over 100 reports of this scam already this December – more than last December, with only half the month gone.
“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,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard 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,” Rickard said.
“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. Follow these steps to protect yourself this Christmas.”
The Australia Post released a similar statement warning Aussies about email scams. “Australia Post is aware that there are currently multiple scam emails circulating and are working to stop them as quickly as possible.
Here are some of the subject lines that are appearing in these scam emails:
- A courier did not redeem package
- A mailman did not redeem parcel
- An agent have not redeem item
Please also be aware that Australia Post does not:
- Ask you to make a payment for parcel collection
- Email you to reconfirm your address by clicking a link
- Charge you to hold a parcel
- Send you an email asking for your password, credit card details or account information
- Call or email you out of the blue to request payment