WHILE most people consider Christmas to be a time of celebration and giving, there are people out there looking to exploit the holiday.
Sadly, we’re not just talking about your boss forcing you to come into work the day after your office Christmas party — there are much more sinister threats at play.
Cyber security experts at MailGuard recently discovered a scam email that appears to be from Australia Post, which attempts to make the recipient think that the post office is holding an undelivered parcel for them.
“With Xmas right around the corner the timing of this scam is particularly opportunistic. This is the busiest part of the year for parcel delivery, and scammers know that during the holiday season people are distracted and potentially more vulnerable to trickery,” MailGuard explained.
“We’re all eager to get our Xmas shopping on time, so we might not think twice before clicking a link in an email like this.”
And as the web security company explains, clicking that link would be a terrible idea.
“The link would take you to a zipped file that contains malware,” the company wrote.
“MailGuard isolated and halted the malicious file before it could do any harm, but this kind of malware file can do a lot of damage, installing spyware or viruses.”
MailGuard said this type of scam is known as Christmas brandjacking.
“Scammers focus on companies and organisations that are so recognisable that people won’t hesitate to click on messages that appear to come from them,” MailGuard explained.
“It’s hard to think of a better known and trusted institution than the post office, so of course Australia Post branding get’s ripped-off by scammers fairly often.
“This is a large scale fraud attempt, so there are going to be a lot of these messages landing in unprotected inboxes.”
If you are suspicious over an email, you should check the ‘sender’ info on email headers carefully to see if it looks official — you can always phone the organisation to check.
Australia Post said scam emails are a concerning trend across all industries and customers should remain vigilant.
“We work closely with relevant authorities to alert our customers to scams, and provide information on our website, on social media, and to subscribers of Scamwatch,” a spokesman told news.com.au.
“Our staff also receive regular training and updates on the importance of being vigilant of such scams to protect our customers and business.”