The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has warned of fake delivery texts. Scammers use legitimate-looking texts to deceive people into providing the personal information that they use to fulfil their illicit intentions.
The scammers do texts that seem legitimate to lure people into providing their personal information, which is then either used to defraud victims out of thousands of dollars or sold on the black market for profit. The messages urge the receiver to click on a hyperlink to track, redirect, or pick up a package while claiming to be a shipping status update. Sometimes they request postal address confirmation from the addressee.
How Much Have Australians Lost to Scams?
As per the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, scammers cost Australians over $2 billion in 2021. The amount is predicted to increase to over $4 billion by the end of the year. Customers reported over 57,000 instances of dubious calls and messages, making phishing the most prevalent type of scam.
Chris Goldsmid, Commander of AFP’s cybercrime operations, said that as the holidays approached, fraudsters specifically targeted people who were anxious and distracted, such as those awaiting multiple deliveries. “Scam activity, in particular, is profit-driven,” he said. “Whatever the criminals can do to monetise the information they steal from the public, they’ll do that.”
Goldsmid advised customers to verify the legitimacy of messages and watch out for warning signs, such as grammatical mistakes, suspicious URLs, and requests for personal details, before clicking on a link.
Most delivery services, like Australia Post and Amazon, never call or email consumers to ask for personal details, money, or the installation of software. Amazon claimed to have spent over $900 million hiring 12,000 extra employees globally to combat cybercrime and online fraud, adding that it had “zero tolerance for fraud”.