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HOLIDAY WARNING: ‘We could not deliver your parcel’ email could be scam

Christmas is just around the corner, and we should be more careful when clicking email package delivery notices. There have been a lot of fake notifications that are being sent out to spread out malware instead of the holiday cheer.

Since Thanksgiving there has been a lot of malware campaigns that market and target computer users to click and spread their malware infection and ransomware activities.

It is booming large scale business perpetuated by cyber criminals. And the most common denominator is they are pretending as fake package email alerts.

Common subject lines the company has been tracking include:

*We could not deliver your parcel, #00556030

*Please Confirm Your DHL Shipment

*Problems with item delivery, n.000834069

*Delivery Receipt | Confirm Awb no:XXX830169

*Your order is ready to be delivered

*Courier was unable to deliver the parcel, ID00990381

*Your DHL is here please download attachment to view detail and confirmation of your  address

Phishing scams are not new, but is has been proliferating more than ever. And you as the computer user would be their main target.

Be careful before you click anything.

Just to remind you all that the legitimate businesses and shippers such as Amazon, FedEx and UPS have nothing to do with these infections.

The cyber criminals are the ones who are tricking you into thinking it is an email coming from them.

For example, UPS maintains a page on their website that shows various samples of fake delivery notices and how to spot a fraudulent one. On top of that, they give out information how consumers can protect themselves.

The fake messages tend to come in two main types.

Some contain malware that invades your computer and either allows it to be used by a botnet or attempts to find and extract personal information about you that could be sold, or login information for your financial accounts.

The most damaging can contain ransomware. This is software that allows criminals to remotely lock up your computer. They then send a message demanding payment in untraceable digital currency such as Bitcoin.

Campaigns like these are well orchestrated and their target audience is huge. One of the fake delivery notifications carrying the subject line “Your order has dispatched” has been sent out in bulk.

The way it infects computers is they attached a laced malicious zip attachment that downloads and isntall the locky ransomware.

Security companies and researchers worldwide have been on high alert status for these types of attacks and stay on top of their game to identify and block the said attacks and new malware variants as well.

They are always a step behind due to the fact that after they have detected and figured out the inner workings, the cyber criminals tweak the code to try and spread once more.

Their main goal is to make people trust the email they receive and to get people to follow the instructions. Which in turn opens a URL or attachmetn.

Be a skeptic. Check things twice.

Scrutinize the emailed package and delivery notice. Do they include your full name, customer number and actual information from the company? Is the email address it came from actually the company or some odd variant?

For example, an email purporting to be from FedEx that came to this reporter Wednesday was actually from, a non-existent address.

If there’s any doubt don’t click, experts say. Take the time to actually type in the Amazon or UPS or FedEx address. It won’t take that much longer but will protect you.

“To a malicious actor, this is optimal phishing season and the phishing is good!” said Thomas Pore, director of IT for security company Plixer International. “As much as you want to click and open, just don’t do it.”

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