As Christmas draws ever near, Internet users can expect to see certain scams becoming more prevalent, especially email malware scams.
It’s the same every year. Scammers will take advantage of the surge in online shopping as a chance to bait users into falling for certain email scams aimed at the cyber shoppers amongst us.
Here are some of the trending email scams that have been reported to us over the last week.
Your Amazon Order!
Your Amazon Order Details
Your Amazon Order has been lost
Your Amazon Order confirmation
Other versions will use other retailers like Buy.com or EBay.
Online shopping is at an all-time high this time of the year, with millions turning to the Internet to find the best bargains. Amazon is the biggest online retailer on the Internet, and scammers are exploiting this fact by sending out emails related to your “Amazon order”.
Essentially, scammers know that more people across the world than any other time of the year will be ordering and waiting for packages to arrive from Amazon, meaning sending out bulk scam emails related to a phantom order from Amazon will have a higher-than-average success rate.
In the examples we received, the emails attempted to lure the reader into opening a dangerous malware attachment attached to the email in a ZIP folder. The emails would claim that the reader should read their confirmation or order details. Others assert the package was lost in transit and to resolve the problem they need to open the attachment.
In all cases the email was not real, did not relate to a real order, and simply tried to lure a victim into running a malware attachment on their computer.
Real life example below.
DHL/Royal Mail Lost in Transit
DHL/Royal Mail Lost or Missing Package
Parcel was undelivered
Parcel needs confirmation
Versions also quote other popular couriers like UPS
On the same principle as above, there is an unusually high number of people who will be having packages delivered to them through courier companies, meaning the classic DHL/Royal Mail scams will be spreading, claiming that the readers parcel has been lost or undelivered, and the user needs to open the attachment to resolve the problem.
And once again this is just a trick to get them to run malware on their computer.
Real like example below.
Bank Card Problems
You bank card is blocked
Security issues with your bank account
Unusual activity on your bank card
Versions will quote other card issuers like Visa, as well as specific bank types like Natwest, Westpac, Bank of America or even PayPal
To shop online one generally needs a bank account of sorts, and problems with your bank account can be particularly troubling at this time of year. And this is why emails that claim there are issues with your bank card or account will probably receive plenty of attention from the reader.
Scammers understand that you will be using your bank account and card more now than any other time of the year, so trying to make you believe your account, for example, has been suspended because of “unusual activity” may seem that bit more believable.
Like the examples above this is just a ruse in an attempt to make you open an attachment to try and resolve the problem, thus unwittingly infecting your computer with malware.
Real life example below.
The stories in the examples above can be extremely believable, especially as Christmas approaches, and whilst all the scenarios played out in the fake stories can really happen, it is unlikely that you will be required to open an attachment on an email to resolve the problem.
Be extremely sceptical of emails that request you open attachments, even if the email looks to have been sent from a legitimate body or organisation. Also be wary of other red flags, such as
1. Emails that do not mention your name.
2. Emails that have ZIP attachments
3. Emails with poor spelling or grammar or design
4. Emails sent from free web-based email domains like Gmail, and emails sent from domains that do not match the company they claim to be from.
We hope this helps you stay that little bit safer this Christmas! Happy shopping!