How do I detect an email shipping scam?

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, another emailed scam arrives to remind me that it’s nearly impossible to stay ahead of the curve.

Most recently I’ve been picking up emails claiming to be from Amazon, providing me with information on my order. Like, on my order I never made.

Understand, I do a lot of business with Amazon. I get most of my books through there, plus many office supplies. Anything I can’t get locally I’ll get through Amazon.

Shoot, I can order food items from there too. For those who follow this space y’all might have heard I recently moved to CA from South Carolina, and Southern delicacies are now considered foreign food. I’ll probably end up getting my yellow mustard-based barbecue sauce and Luzinanne sweet tea through them before too long.

So I know a little something about Amazon’s shipping process. This knowledge helps me to sniff out the frequent BS that filters into my inbox.

Here’s the email, as seen by my Thunderbird email reader:

Receive any email like this lately?
Receive any email like this lately?

 

Keep in mind, I didn’t order anything.

And they’re not Amazon. Check it; I have the sender’s email address circled.

So who’s unlexclusive.com?

According to my web search, nobody. A couple of sites indicate the domain name is up for sale. So forget uexclusive for a moment; they’re not important.

But they’re not Amazon. Or any other big shipper. That’s important.

Oh, yeah. There’s an attachment to this email, and I’m supposed to click it and download it. Yeah, right. If you get this email, don’t do it.

* * *

Here’s some info I got from Scam Detectors:

Fake Amazon/DHL Shipment

amazon shipping scam

How the scam works:

Amazon is one of the most widely used online retailers, with close to 300 million visitors each month. The main reason for Amazon’s overwhelming popularity is its ease of use for consumers. However, with this popularity comes a down side; scams aimed at bilking customers of the online retail giant.

The latest in phishing scams is centered on Amazon shipping notifications, involving scammers sending you an email verification of your processed Amazon order but the email contains an incorrect shipping address.

The victim is then required to click a link in the email to correct the information; when the link is clicked malware is released onto the computer or device that captures passwords or private information.

In a different variation of the scam, criminals claim to be from well-known shipment services such as DHL, UPS, or FedEx, in which they include terms such as ‘tracking notification’, tracking number’, ‘pickup date’ or ‘Processing completed successfully’. Just as in the above Amazon example, the zip file attached to the message contains malware.

DHL scam

 

Check the email domain name that came with your email. If it’s amazon.com (or whoever the legit shipper is), that’s one thing. But if it’s something else, it’s probably a scam or an effort to harvest your information or identity.

Which email address did it go to? Another dead giveaway. Email addresses are cheap; everyone’s got a bunch of ’em. I have close to a dozen myself. But only two of these addresses are associated with an Amazon account. Surprise — it’s not one of them.

For the gazillionth time, enjoy your computer. Have fun online. But watch out for those sharks in the phishing hole. Again.

#endit#

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Author: Eric Pulsifer

Eric Pulsifer is a veteran wordsmith with experience as a journalist, editor, musician, and freelance writer.