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Beware of online shopping scam, See how South Africans are falling victim of scam

Mimecast, a cybersecurity company, has urged consumers in South Africa to be on the alert for a cunning online shopping delivery scam that could reveal their credit card information to thieves.

Recent detections by the company's threat hunting team include malicious emails and faked web pages impersonating well-known courier and delivery organizations.

These emails persuade South Africans to provide their credit card or banking information in exchange for payment of package delivery expenses.

According to Brian Pinnock, a cybersecurity specialist at Mimecast, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the increased delivery volumes associated with the end-of-year shopping season, when many customers are anticipating their Black Friday or Christmas deliveries.

"Thousands of emails are sent to consumers in the hope that they will respond," Pinnock explained.

"When consumers click on the link supplied in the email, they are routed to a web page where they are required to pay a modest delivery fee."

"Once they enter their credit card information, they have given criminals access to their financial information," Pinnock warned.

Mimecast reported that the campaign impersonated two well-known delivery firms in South Africa, sending approximately 50,000 emails to unwary clients.

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According to Pinnock, with so many gifts being given at this time of year, it may be difficult for recipients to determine whether the item was sent by a loved one, making it easier to deceive them.

"Because the fee is little, they have no objection to paying."

This current threat comes on the heels of another scam discovered a few months ago that copied the brands of at least 26 countries' national postal agencies, including the South African Post Office.

"With the increasing popularity of online shopping in South Africa and the continued disruption caused by the epidemic, threat actors are ideal ground for subverting the brands of well-known delivery firms in the service of cybercrime," Pinnock explained.

He recommended users to use extreme caution when clicking on links in emails, particularly when payment is demanded.

Pinnock told eNCA that the typical methods for spotting a scam had become obsolete.

"We used to say to keep an eye out for brands or connections that appear to be 'bad.' Regrettably, that counsel has become obsolete," Pinnock stated.

"Cybercriminals are really skilled at imitating businesses; the brands appear to be extremely authentic, and I would not rely on that to judge whether or not it is a hoax," Pinnock added.

Consumers should be on the lookout for any unexpected notifications or charges that they were not aware of while placing a purchase.

Additionally, any sense of urgency conveyed by the email should be viewed with suspicion.

"If you notice something that appears to be too urgent or out of the ordinary in comparison to what you expected, call the online store or whoever you are expecting the delivery from and confirm and enter the numbers [tracking number and details provided in the email]," Pinnock added.

Additionally, Pinnock stated that delivery companies should take additional precautions to safeguard their customers.

These include implementing the DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) email protocol and implementing brand exploit protection systems that prevent fraudsters from imitating their brands.

Content created and supplied by: Afri_Gist (via Opera News )

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