Why you should question messages from delivery companies

The ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert reports a sharp increase in shipping scams

With Father’s Day behind us, scammers turned their attention in the last week to some tried and true schemes. However, the ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert tracked a huge increase in Father’s Day shopping scams right up to the big day itself.

But while scammers were launching 133,179 Father’s Day scams last week they were also doubling down on delivery and shipping scams.

USPS shipping scam 

  • As we saw in the past few weeks, scammers impersonate USPS to ask customers to verify their parcel delivery address and credit card information. 

  • The top five states being targeted the most (in order) are Texas, California, North Carolina, Illinois and Florida.

Walmart shipping scam

  • With these scams, scammers inform users that their parcel is stocked at the airport and ask users to provide their address and credit card information. 

  • The top five states being targeted the most (in order) are North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, California and Pennsylvania. 

 Delivery Phishing 

  • These delivery phishing scams impersonate logistic companies to mail customers that their package has been delayed and need them to verify personal information and reschedule delivery time on other fake delivery websites. We found 2,330 logs on Jun 18. 

Jon Clay, vice president of Threat Intelligence at Trend Micro, says scammers are simply taking advantage of the fact that consumers increasingly do their shopping online.

“In this scam, the recipient receives a text or email saying their package is delayed or their address is incorrect or simply there is a problem with their delivery,” Clay told ConsumerAffairs.  “The scammers look to obtain address and/or credit card information from their victims in this scam.”   

 Windfall Scam 

  • This scam is a phishing email that pretends to ask someone to do a very large transfer of funds. Trend Micro’s research teams detected 2,973 logs on June 16.  

This category covers a wide range of scams, many of them pretty old. Remember the Nigerian prince email scam? Early victims who agreed to accept the prince’s fortune in their bank account, in return for a large reward, had to provide their bank account information. 

Other windfall scams include things like fake lottery prizes, in which the “winner” has to pay a tax or fee to receive their promised $200,000 sweepstakes prize – which doesn’t exist.

Bitcoin Sextortion 

  • A scammer declares that they have hacked the victim’s computer and have access to all of their contact info and social media data, even private videos. Scammers then ask the victims to pay $1,300 via bitcoins. Otherwise, they will distribute and ruin the victim’s reputation with the above material. Trend Micro’s research team detected 1,756 logs on June 19. 

This is a fairly new scam on the Threat Alert radar screen although it’s been around for a while. In its most common form, the scammer claims to have taken over the victim’s computer and used the camera to record a video of the victim watching porn.

While the scammer usually wants to be paid in Bitcoin they may also accept gift cards.

Travel Scam  

  • Between April 1 - June 18, Trend Micro’s research team found 1,588 travel-related scam URLs, which increased by 12.7% compared to the past week.  

  • The team found three fake Airbnb log-in pages; one-third of the victims are from Oregon. 

  • The top five states being targeted the most (in order) are Oregon, Virginia, Washington, Pennsylvania and Illinois. 

With summer officially starting this week we can expect travel scams to be a constant threat for the next couple of months. ConsumerAffairs has covered some of these scams here, here and here

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