A photo of a typical email scammers are sending about uncollected parcels this Christmas. Photo: Contributed.
A photo of a typical email scammers are sending about uncollected parcels this Christmas. Photo: Contributed. Photo: Contributed

Scammers targeting Christmas parcels

SCAMMERS are targeting Northern Rivers residents this festive season by sending emails informing people they have a parcel to collect.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deputy chair Delia Rickard said the emails about a 'missed parcel delivery', were purportedly from trusted services such as Australia Post or FedEx.

"The emails may be personalised with your name and address and look to be from a legitimate company complete with fraudulent logos," she said.

"The email may mention a fee will be charged while they hold your undelivered item.

"Scammers ask the recipient to open an attachment or download a file to retrieve their parcel.

"If you follow these instructions, an executable file (.exe) will load on to your computer and install ransomware as soon as it is opened."

Ms Rickard said ransomware was a type of virus that freezes a computer and demands a ransom be paid to unlock the affected computer.

"Scammers commonly ask for bitcoins or ask you to transfer money by wire transfer," she said.

"Even if you pay the fee, there is no guarantee that your computer will be unlocked.

"If you receive an email about a package, don't open any attachments or download files."

Protect yourself

  • Australia Post will put a notice in your letter box if a package was undeliverable. Delete any email claiming to be from Australia Post about an undelivered package.
  • Do not click on links or download files in emails you receive out of the blue - especially if they are executable (.exe) files or zip files. These files are likely to contain malware.
  • If you are suspicious about a 'missed' parcel delivery, call the company directly to verify that the correspondence is genuine. Independently source the contact details through an internet search or phone book - do not rely on numbers provided.
  • Buy yourself (or your business) a stand-alone hard drive for Christmas. These have become relatively inexpensive and can save you a lot if your computer is infected by malware or ransomware.
  • Regularly back-up your computer's data on a separate hard drive. If your computer is infected by malware or ransomware you can restore the factory settings and easily re-install all of your software and data.
  • To report a scam call the ACCC on 1300 795 995 or visit https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam.


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