Strathcona County, Alberta – Strathcona County RCMP are warning residents of a “phishing” email scam that has been circulating. This email scam involves a delivery service which could include FedEx, Canada Post, DHL and DPD. The email subject field will include information such as shipping notifications, delivery status, shipping confirmation or delivery information. Well-known companies and brands are favourite targets for fraudsters. After all, it is much easier to get people’s attention with the use of a popular name, so scammers have more chance of trapping a user.
Once you open the email it will have various notifications (eg. Unsuccessful delivery, parcel pick up, wrong address, no recipient at delivery address). These phrases are usually related to the delivery since the companies in question are in the service sector. The email may look legitimate as fraudsters design similar logos of a company as it is an immediate identifying mark.
The email will guide you to click on a link whether it is to log on to your account, update personal information, download a receipt or view shipping documents. Once you click on the link it may redirect to another website to add/update personal information (bank details, user information and passwords). This data immediately falls into the fraudsters hands. Otherwise clicking on the link may download malware on your computer. Malware (malicious software) allows fraudsters to have access to your computer and can then steal usernames, passwords and have complete control over your computer.
Tips to avoid falling victim to a phishing scam:
- Don’t be fooled by official logos. One of the most common ways that phishing scams will try to fool you is by using official company logos or insignias. In some cases, the email address or web address may look close to the company’s name, but is slightly altered or off by a letter.
- Watch out for poor spelling and grammar. An easy way to spot a phishing scam right away is by reading the email thoroughly, watching for bad spelling and grammar. Phishing emails are notorious for obvious spelling mistakes.
- Check links before you click on them: Often attackers will use a legitimate web address in the hyperlinked text of the email, but once you click on the link it takes you to a malicious website. If you hover your mouse over the link – without clicking on it – a small yellow box will appear showing the actual web address the link will take you to. If the link doesn’t match the hyperlinked text, it’s likely malicious.
For more information on scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact the Strathcona County RCMP Detachment at 780-467-7741.