We should always be cautious when we receive emails that contain attachments, especially if they’re unexpected, and especially if they appear to come from a courier like Fedex.
Fedex email scams are an extremely popular email scam that uses social engineering tricks to lure victims into opening harmful email attachments.
The scam works when the scammer sends a victim an email pretending to be from Fedex. However almost every international courier has their own variant, including UPS, DHL and ParcelForce.
The email tells the victim that a the courier attempted to deliver a parcel but failed, and that the victim needs to print out the attached receipt and take it to the nearest branch to retrieve the parcel. This is the social engineering aspect of the scam as a victim will be naturally curious as to the contents of this unexpected parcel and thus will open the attachment to look.
Then comes the technical part of the scam. Opening the attachment, disguised as a text file but in reality is an application that will install malware onto the victim’s computer.
Not all Fedex email scams will direct victims to a malicious attachment, however. Phishing variants of the scam direct victims to external websites instead. These spoof websites masquerading as a Fedex or any other legitimate courier service will ask for a victim’s personal information which is then stolen. For more information on phishing attacks click here.
Protect yourself from Fedex email scams
Always remember to avoid opening email attachments if you are not expecting them and seek further advice if you are unsure. Additionally it is vital to have up-to-date, reliable security software installed on your computer at all times. A quality security program can not only stop or remove any malicious files from running on your computer but can also feature an anti-spam feature that recognises scam emails like Fedex email scams and block them before you even see them!
For our recommendations for our recommended Internet security suites click here.