Being stuck at home during COIVD-19 has made the majority of people move to online shopping. It's simple and easy, the options are endless, and you don't need to move anything but your mouse. However, the downside is that anything that involves online browsing can lead to getting scammed.
DHL and other parcel delivery services do a fantastic job of taking care of our packages, letting us know what the status is, and tracking their location. Cybercriminals have identified the increase in online shopping trends, and continue in creating multiple types of phishing emails.
Scammers create identical-looking emails, using the same logo, font, and email layout into tricking us into thinking the email really from one of the known services. Shipping can often take time, and we don't even remember when and what we ordered, so a delivery status email seems like something that makes sense in our inbox. Here are a few things you should look out for:
No tracking number
Any legitimate parcel tracking email will contain your tracking number in it. If it doesn't exist, most likely, it's a fraudulent email and not related to anything you ordered.
Any email that contains an attachment should immediately be marked as suspicious. Even if it's from someone you know, their account could be hacked. Attachments are risky because they can contain malware, companies like DHL do not send any attachments. A fraudulent email DHL themselves warn about is an email telling you your tracking number is in the attachment, but that's not true. If you are expecting a package delivered by DHL, the tracking number will be in the email itself.
Shipment or customs Fee
One common way to steal funds is by sending fraudulent emails saying you need to add a shipment fee to release your package. These can be collected from parcel delivery services, but you must make sure the email is really from the official service. To do this, check the domain of the sender and what site you are being referred to. If you have any concerns, always contact the parcel delivery service directly.
Clean up your browser and prevent future scams
These fraudulent emails seem the most innocent, as they merely look like notifications about your delivery status, but you must "log in" to see what the information is. Once you log in, you just gave your details to a scammer.
Asked to pay for purchased goods
Companies like DHL, FedEx, and UPS do not collect money for purchased goods. If you got an email asking you to pay for something you ordered, report it immediately.
Problem delivering your package
If you made purchases from multiple websites, it could be tough to keep track of each of your orders. Criminals capitalize on this by creating emails that alert there has been a problem delivering the package. In the email, there is a link to provide personal information under the disguise of arranging a convenient delivery time.
How to keep safe from fraudulent delivery emails
You don't need to stop shopping online to keep safe from such emails. Taking safety precautions will ensure that you don't fall for these scams.
- Keep track of what you ordered: Make a list of everything you're expecting and the tracking numbers you got at the time of the purchase. This way, anytime you get an email about a package, you can cross-examine it with your list and see if it makes sense.
- Check for spelling and grammar mistakes: Phishing email often contain spelling mistakes. You can copy the text to a spell and grammar checker like Grammarly and spot spelling mistakes that could indicate it's a scam.
- Who is the sender? Even if the sender's name is "DHL," the email address it came from could be anything. Check to see if it matches the real domain of the parcel delivery service before taking any action.
- Where does the link lead to? You can either hover over the links to see where they lead to, if it's not related to the official site, don't click. An easier way is to browse with a protection tool like Guardio so that even if you click, you will get alerted if it's a fraudulent site.
- Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt: Contact the delivery services support channels, and they will be able to confirm if the email is real or not.