Aussies are reminded to be extra vigilant when shopping online this festive season, with cybercriminals taking full advantage of the increased activity.
Cyber safety firm MailGuard intercepted a phishing email scam claiming to be from shipping company, DHL, which prompts users to provide their bank details, and ultimately harvests their information.
The email is titled “Your package will be sent within 48 hours”, and purports to be from DHL Customer Care.
It asks the customer to complete a payment of “1.99 EURO” in order to receive their package, and there is a ‘pay now’ link at the end of the email.
When recipients click the link, they are led to a fraudulent DHL-branded page, and are asked to insert their credit card information, names and addresses.
“We strongly advise all recipients to delete these emails immediately without clicking on any links,” MailGuard stated.
“Please share this alert with your social media network to help us spread the word around this email scam.”
According to MailGuard, well-known companies like Australia Post, FedEx and DHL are popular targets for scammers to impersonate because they are trusted names with large customer bases.
“The timing of this scam is particularly opportunistic,” it stated.
“The year-end shopping season is in full swing, with mega shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday resulting in many people shopping online to take advantage of lucrative deals and sales.”
Australia Post data revealed nearly 8.5 million households engaged in online shopping between March and October this year, with Aussies losing around $666,000 to scams online in October alone.
That’s $499 per Aussie. If the upward trend continues, it could reach $700,000 in the month of December.
How do I protect myself against this scam?
As always, Aussies should be wary of emails:
Not addressed to them by name;
With poor English, or omit personal details;
Are not from a sender you were expecting; and
That take you to a page that is not the legitimate URL of the company the email is purporting to be from.
Want to hear Australian influencers reveal their best finance tips? Join the Broke Millennials Club on Facebook, and receive one hot tip per day in December.