Look out for Shipping E-mail Phishing Scams

Stop clicking on e-mails about your package delivery! Scam, scam, scam! Look, it’s simple:

  • Scammers are also pretending to be from the DHL and FedEx shipping companies, not just UPS.
  • Crooks know that at any given time, thousands and thousands of U.S. people are waiting for a package delivery.
  • So these cyber thieves send out mass e-mails by the millions, knowing that they will reach a lot of people who are expecting a package.
  • The subject line of these e-mails says something about “your delivery” or “your shipment” that lures the recipient into opening the e-mail. Usually, the message is that the delivery has failed, and the recipient is tricked into clicking on an attachment or a link.
  • And that’s when malware gets downloaded to their computer.

This technique is called social engineering: tricking people into doing things they shouldn’t. People are too quick to click. I wonder how many of these clicker-happy people ever even gave their e-mail address to UPS. The last time I sent something via UPS, I don’t even recall being asked for my e-mail address.

But people so freely give out their e-mail address, that when they receive one of these phishing e-mails by crooks, they think it’s legitimate. They believe that the attachment is a new shipping label to print out. They even believe the threat that if they don’t use this new label right away, they’ll be charged a fee. It’s all about hurry, hurry, hurry! People don’t stop and T-H-I-N-K first.

What can be done about this? First off, don’t freely give out your e-mail. That way, if you get an e-mail from a company that you just, by chance, happen to be doing business with, you’ll know it’s a fraud—because you never gave your e-mail to that company in the first place.

Next, share this information with your family and friends. They’ll probably all deny that they’re capable of falling for this scam, but I’m sure that when the unwise ones are alone, they’ll give it some hard thought.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.

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