Mindful Email Awareness
Amazon has released Prime Day and they will have over 1 million deals this year. This is amazing especially given the state of the new shopping environment and not wanting to go out in large crowds unnecessarily.
With the Holidays fast approaching, I wanted to bring up the topic of emails and the scams and phishing that occurs much more frequently during the holiday season. We get many emails daily, and it would be normal to see an email about your package delivery pop up, or maybe an email about your credit card payment.
These are the emails that you have to be mindful of, the ones that provide a link asking you to "update your payment information because there was a problem with the billing,” or perhaps "there is an issue with the shipment of your package." This is how a hacker gets your information. But you can be diligent and aware of the subtle sign that your latest email is a scam.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
FedEx Email Scams
Below is an example of a fake email from Fedex about delivery failure. The attachments have viruses loaded into them.
Subject: Fed Ex Delivery Notification
Unfortunately we were not able to deliver postal package you sent on December the 14 in time because the recipient's address is not correct. Please print out the invoice copy attached and collect the package at our office.
These fraudulent emails appear to originate from a FedEx employee (e.g., ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’). The body of the message may contain a fake notice related to FedEx services or may contain only a random phrase or sentence. Be aware that the attachment within the email may contain a computer virus. Do not open the attachment. Delete the email immediately.
Subject: Fedex Tracking number N4815347
From: "Fedex Manager, Willis Grabinger"
Dear. Unfortunately we failed to deliver the postal package you have sent on the 27th of July in time because the recipient's address is erroneous. Please print out the invoice copy attached and collect the package at our office. * This site is protected by copyright and trademark laws under US and International law.
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Amazon Email Scams
Here are some examples of things to watch out for when it comes to Amazon:
Your Amazon.com Order Cannot Be Shipped Email Scam
Received an email that states your order can't be shipped? It's almost certainly a phishing and email scam. They typically request that you confirm certain information, otherwise your Amazon account will be removed. To do so, you're expected to click a link and enter account details as well as banking details.
An alternative to this scam suggests you were charged double and to click a link to cancel one payment.
Delete this email immediately, log into Amazon from Amazon.com, then check your order status to see if an order has actually been canceled. It almost certainly has not.
Here is another example having to do with Prime Day its self.
The Amazon Prime Day Scam
Every year, Amazon holds an event called Prime Day and sells hundreds of products at ridiculously low prices to clear its inventory. Because so many people flock to the retailer and purchase at least something small, scammers, of course, have figured out a way to take advantage of this innocent sales tactic: They email victims to thank them for their (supposed) purchase on the site and invite them to review their new product in exchange for a $50 prize.
Instead of directing victims to the real Amazon site, this phishing scam sends them to a fake site that requests their Amazon username and password. Once the unsuspecting user enters it, scammers have all they need to enter the person's Amazon account on their own, order things using saved credit cards, and update addresses to have products sent to bogus addresses.
If you receive an email thanking you for an order - particularly one you never made - do not click any links in the email and go as fast as you can in the other direction. Contact Amazon at email@example.com to inform them of the details so they can take action against the hackers. You can forward the email to them but they do prefer it as an attachment instead.
Here are some examples of emails people have gotten from the United States Postal Service about packages..
Note the highlighted email address is not from the Postal Service at all.
Here is another example wanting you to click on the link for the label, this link will infect your computer with a virus.
Mindful clicking is always important when opening emails, but around the holidays it is even more important to be vigilante, and if you are unsure about something, report it or reach out to an Tech company and ask them to help you.
It is also so imperative to stay up to date with your virus scanning applications. It is also good to run scans for malware on your computer monthly.