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Delivery scams on the rise

Dec 6, 2021

Delivery scams on the riseCybersecurity researchers are urging consumers to be on the lookout for delivery scams following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and in the lead-up to the holidays.

This comes after Mimecast’s threat-hunting team detected malicious emails and spoofed web pages impersonating well-known delivery companies in South Africa.

Researchers from Mimecast have uncovered a number of widely used delivery scams that aim to steal financial information from South Africans by asking for a small fee to be paid in order for a package to be delivered.

According to Brian Pinnock, cybersecurity expert at Mimecast, criminals are capitalising on higher delivery volumes during the end-of-year shopping season by imitating trusted courier and delivery companies.

“Tens of thousands of emails are being sent to consumers in the hope that they will bite,” says Pinnock.

“Once the victim clicks on the link provided in the email, they are redirected to a web page where they are asked to pay a small fee so that their package can be delivered. Once they enter their credit card details, they have handed their financial information over to the criminals.

“With so many gifts being sent at this time of the year, it’s hard for the receiver to know whether the package has genuinely been sent by a loved one, so it’s an easy way to trick people. The fee is small, so they don’t mind making the payment.”

Two well-known delivery brands in South Africa have been impersonated in the campaign, with nearly 50 000 emails sent to unsuspecting consumers.

This latest threat follows the discovery of another scam a couple of months ago, that imitated the brands of national postal services in at least 26 countries, including South Africa.

“The growing popularity of online shopping in South Africa and ongoing disruption from the pandemic is creating fertile ground for threat actors to subvert the brands of well-known delivery companies in the service of cybercrime,” says Pinnock.

“Consumers should exercise extreme caution when clicking on links in emails, especially when some form of payment is being requested.

“Delivery companies should also take additional steps to protect customers, including the deployment of DMARC and brand exploit protection solutions that limit cybercriminals’ ability to imitate their brands.”

This post was based on a press release issued on behalf of Mimecast.

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Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered

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