More than 57 per cent of Australians are opting to buy Christmas gifts online this year. Photo: Joe ArmaoAustralians awaitingonline Christmas shopping deliveries have been warned of fake parcel delivery scams, which have tripled since this time last year.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Scamwatch has received more than 4300 complaints about the scam in 2016, with 350 people reporting that they provided personal information, including bank details, to scammers.
“Scammers typically send emails pretending to be from Australia Post or FedEx, to try and trick you into believing you have an ‘undeliverable package’,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.
“In some cases, these emails may include your name and address and include legitimate-looking company information, complete with fake logos.”
Common emails sent by scammers threaten to charge a fee for holding an undelivered item, which can only be retrieved by opening an attachment or clicking a download link that holds a ransomware virus to lock a computer.
“To unlock your computer, scammers demand payment in the form of bitcoins (a form of online currency) or wire transfer,” Ms Rickard said.
“Even if you pay the fee, there is no guarantee that you will be able to access your computer again.”
Ms Rickard said the scam was particularly effective at this time of year, as many Australians would be heading online for their Christmas shopping.
According to a recent survey by Aussie Farmers Direct more than 57 per cent of Australians are opting to buy Christmas gifts online this year.
Online will be the shopping destination of choice for 32 per cent of millennials, 22 per cent of Generations Xers and 14 per cent of baby boomers.
“Australia Post will never call you out of the blue to request payment or send you an email asking you to click on an attachment,” Ms Rickard said.
“If you receive an email about an undeliverable package, don’t open any attachments or download files, delete it straight away.”
On its website, Australia Post advises anyone who receives such an email to “delete it immediately” and to make a report to Scamwatch.
The warning comes just one week after the ACCC announced thatcomplaints on sharing economy platforms, such as Airbnb, had also tripled.
This year, the consumer watchdog has received more than50 reports of scams on sharing economy websites,with $80,000 reported lost to scammersrunning fake websites or requesting payments via third-party wire transfers.
Tips to avoid a fake parcel scamNever click on links or download attachments from emails you do not recognise – especially if they are ‘.exe’ files or ‘.zip’ files.Regularly back up your computer’s data on a separate hard drive.If you are suspicious about a ‘missed’ parcel delivery email, call the company directly by independently sourcingcontact details through an internet search or phone book.Remember: Australia Post will alwaysput a notice in your letter box if a package was undeliverable. Delete any email claiming to be from Australia Post about an undelivered package.This article first appeared on smh南京夜网419论坛