Buying Christmas online? Don’t get scammed

The ACCC warns of a new parcel delivery scam  

You’d better watch out: Santa Claus may be coming to town, but so are the scammers. The ACCC is warning online shoppers to watch out for fake parcel delivery scams arriving in email inboxes this Christmas.

The ACCC’s Scamwatch has received over 4,300 complaints about this scam in 2016, more than triple the number received in 2015. 

Unfortunately this scam is particularly effective during the holiday season with so many Australians going online to buy Christmas presents, ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Scammers typically send emails pretending to be from Australia Post or FedEx, to try and trick you into believing you have an ‘undeliverable package’. In some cases, these emails may include your name and address and include legitimate-looking company information, complete with fake logos.”

The email may threaten to charge you a fee for holding your ‘undelivered item’, and will ask you to open an attachment, click a link or download a file to retrieve your parcel. If you follow these instructions, you will likely download a ransomware virus that locks your computer,” Ms Rickard said.

Australia Post advised that Monday 12th December was tipped to be Australia’s biggest ever parcel delivery day, with over two million parcels moving through the network.

Since October, Australia Post has experienced unprecedented early volumes, already processing over one million parcels every day, as consumers take advantage of pre-Christmas sales and a surge in parcels from China, the UK and the USA.

Australia Post Executive General Manager Parcels, and StarTrack CEO, Bob Black said the increase in numbers is driven by the boom in online shopping, with more people opting to purchase Christmas gifts online than ever before.

“We’re finding close to 30 per cent of all online purchases occur in the three months leading up to Christmas, and that’s on the back of a 15.9 per cent growth in online shopping this year,” Mr Black said.

“Of those purchases, fashion, and toys and games are the most popular purchases, as we see people get more organised for Christmas.”

Keep your parcel delivery safe

Australian Post Australia Post will put a notice in your letter box if a package was undeliverable. Delete any email claiming to be from Australia Post about an undelivered package
Computer Virus Do not click on links or download files in emails you receive out of the blue – especially if they are executable (.exe) files or zip (.zip) files. These files are likely to contain malware or ransomware viruses
Missed Parcel Delivery If you are suspicious about a ‘missed’ parcel delivery email, call the company directly to verify that the correspondence is genuine
Computetr Backup Regularly back up your computer’s data on a separate hard drive
Computer hard drive Buy yourself (or your business) a standalone hard drive for Christmas. These have become relatively inexpensive and can save you a lot if your computer is infected by malware or ransomware

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