Parcel delivery scams use different methods to get your money, your personal information or infect your device.
You might receive an SMS, email or phone call about an undelivered package or item supposedly being held at a distribution centre. The scam pretends to be from a parcel delivery service like TNT, Australia Post or FedEx. In the case of the emails, they attempt to make it look legitimate by including your name and address and professional looking company information.
Online shoppers in particular need to watch out for fake parcel delivery scams arriving in email or SMS inboxes.
The SMS scam
A text message is received stating you have a package being held at a distribution centre and urges you to click on a link, which takes you to a webpage set-up with TNT logos, a fake tracking code and another link to ‘track the item.’ Clicking on this link takes you to another page containing the supposed package information and states you need to pay $2.00 for a custom fee in order to ‘schedule delivery now.’
This final link takes you to a streaming/entertainment service that asks you to sign-up for a ‘free’ trial period by entering your credit card details. Our investigations indicate the company behind this service is registered in Cyprus.
BE WARNED – if you part with your financial details, you will be signed-up to a subscription that will cost $79 per month with the possibility of further amounts being taken from your account.
The email scam
Apparently you have an "undelivered item" for which you may be charged a holding fee. You will be asked to open an attachment, click a link or download a file to retrieve your parcel.
DON'T CLICK ANYTHING - If you follow these instructions, you will likely download a ransomware virus that locks your computer. To unlock your computer, scammers demand payment in the form of 'bitcoins' (a form of online currency) or wire transfer. Even if you pay the fee, there is no guarantee that you will be able to access your computer again.
The phone scam
The scam caller claims to be someone from Australia Post, saying they were unsuccessful in delivering a parcel . They offer redelivery but you have to pay them a fee first.
The payment amount may vary and the scammer may ask for payment in a number of forms such as credit card or international wire transfer.
The scammer may also ask for personal information such as your credit card or bank account details.
HANG UP! If you are in doubt about the authenticity of a call, do not commit to anything. Instead hang up and call the company directly using their official customer service number via the Australia Post website to verify that it is genuine. Never use contact details provided by the caller, as this number will likely take you back to the scammers.
- Don’t open or click on links in suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam) or text messages – delete them.
- Be wary of requests for additional shipping costs that come after you have purchased the goods – all costs, including postage, should be included in the original purchase.
- Get in touch with the legitimate company using its official contact details to check if an offer is genuine.
- Look out for signs that a website may not be genuine, including spelling errors, low-resolution images or an address that is unusual or different from a company’s authentic website.
- Never enter your personal, credit card or online account information on a website that you are not certain is authentic.
- If you have paid, keep an eye on your credit card statement for any strange transactions – otherwise contact your credit card provider and request your card be cancelled.
If you have given money or personal details
If you think you have provided your banking or credit card details to a scammer contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
List of Scams
There is a new malware (malicious software) scam going around which will arrive via your inbox as a fake AUSPOST email. The email entices users to click on the links to “print your shipping label for tracking". Doing this will download ransomware onto your computer.
Crown Imperial Imports claims to have a large package waiting to be delivered to your door. It contains a 61-inch Sony big screen television; or a $2,741 bank cheque; or a Sharp microwave; or other items. All you have to do is pay the $24.95 “release fee”. You will probably end up with some junk jewellery worth far less than the $24.95 release fee you paid.
International Shipping Depot claims they are holding a package worth US$540 for you. why would you want to pay for something you have not seen? You probably will get a product but we do not think it will be genuine. Be aware that this offer is also being peddled on the Internet.
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