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SCAM SPOT: Hitting the cyber sales? Beware delivery cons

12:30pm November 24 2022

Scam Spot is a series of 2-minute bites to help you spot the latest scams. (Thomas Evans) 

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales kicking off the Christmas shopping season, it’s expected the number of parcels being delivered to homes across Australia will hit new records in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, we will likely see the number of scams breaking records too.

One scam to be particularly wary of at this time of year is the parcel delivery scam.

This one involves scammers impersonating well-known delivery services such as DHL, Australia Post, or FedEx, among others. They will send a text message or email to a victim telling them they have a parcel on the way, along with a link to track its progress.

The message might seem legitimate because scammers may use technology to spoof the phone number or name displayed on a text message, so it appears in your phone under a legitimate delivery server’s name. The fact that your phone may slide the message directly below previous messages from the same company does not mean it came from the same place.

Clicking the link will usually mean one of two things.

It may allow scammers to install viruses on your device, enabling them to steal money or hijack your phone in other ways.

Or it might take you to a fake website – which may seem convincing – where you will be asked to pay a delivery fee and provide personal information. From here, the scammer may make other purchases on your card or use your personal information for identity crimes.

These scams are easy to fall for, particularly if you are busy or expecting a parcel, but there are a few tips that may help.

First, avoid clicking these links. If you are expecting a package, go to the business’s website directly and search for any parcel delivery information there.

Should you click on the link and find yourself on a seemingly legitimate website, know that delivery services do not ask for any further payments. If you are requested to make another payment, this is another sign that you are being scammed.

If after clicking on a link you think your phone may be infected, do not log in to your internet banking on the device. Perform a factory reset on your phone, or have it professionally scanned and cleaned.

So, while many of us will be feeling click-happy over the holiday season, we must stay vigilant too – taking just a second could save you a world of trouble.

For more information on the latest scams, go to Westpac's Latest Scams & Alerts info.

Ben Young is Westpac’s Head of Fraud and Financial Crime Insights. Ben’s team researches and operates Westpac’s key fraud protection processes for the ~25 million transactions processed each day by the bank, particularly around credit cards, internet banking, branch and applications for credit. Ben has been intimately involved in Westpac’s fraud processes since 2007 and has worked in various data led risk processes since 1997.

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