Parcel fraud via SMS: new scam has extremely nasty consequences

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The package rip-off via SMS continues. The consequences are fatal for the aggrieved parties – also because the scammers are changing their strategy.

Especially in times of the Corona pandemic, many people probably enjoy being able to order their products online and have them delivered. But for some time now, scammers have been taking advantage of this.

Warning about parcel text messages: “Your parcel has just been shipped”, “The goods you purchased have been shipped. Please check the details” or “Your shipment is just about to be delivered, track your shipment below” are just a few examples of the fake SMS about parcel deliveries that police are currently warning about.

Such messages, which supposedly come from parcel services such as DHL or UPS, are followed by a link that the addressees are supposed to click on. But beware: those affected must not do this under any circumstances. Otherwise, there is a risk of nasty consequences for those around them.

Fake SMS to packages: Why the scammers’ scam is particularly dangerous now
Particularly dangerous: The fake SMS to packages automatically take over the names of the contacts stored in the smartphone. Thus, after clicking on the link, these contacts also receive a message, but with a personal address such as “Hello Paula’s mother”, or “Hello Stefan D2”.

This is intended to make the SMS messages appear even more trustworthy, as a Telekom spokesperson also confirmed. Another disadvantage is that the virus spreads like an ever-growing snowball by accessing the smartphone’s phone book.

While digital rip-offs, also known as phishing, used to find their victims mainly by e-mail some time ago, the scammerss are now increasingly using SMS.

Fake SMS in circulation: Fraudsters change their strategy
In the process, the perpetrators have changed their strategy and adapted to user behavior – short messages instead of e-mail. In addition, cybercriminals often take advantage of exceptional situations, explains public prosecutor Christoph Hebbecker. In the current case, that is clearly the Corona pandemic and the increase in online orders, he said.

However, even those who have not ordered anything on the Internet, and thus presumably catch on to the SMS scam more quickly, are not protected from the scam. Because the fraudsters change their strategy also in this respect and come up with new messages again and again. “Thank you very much! Your appointment is confirmed” is just one example. On the Internet, some users have already reported receiving SMS messages from supposed delivery services such as Lieferando.

Cell phone users should also avoid replying to dubious messages in any case. Instead, these messages should be photographed and then deleted directly. Blocking the foreign number only helps to a limited extent, as the scammers often change it.

Due to the rapid spread of malware, police stations across Austria and even in the neighboring countries of Germany and Switzerland are now warning users about fraudulent parcel SMS messages. Therefore, special vigilance is required when using the smartphone.

  • sources: a1.net/orf.at and ruhr24.de/picture: pixabay.com
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