Watch out! Fraudsters want your money with fake emails

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Austrian Post is warning all customers that some fraud attempts look deceptively genuine at first glance.

It’s a well-known scam. Fraudsters are increasingly sending fake messages in the name of the Austrian Post to obtain account information and personal access data. We’ll tell you what to look out for if this happens and what you must not do under any circumstances.

Not every message can be immediately exposed as a scam. If in doubt, the following, therefore, applies: make a handwritten note of the alleged consignment number and enter it in the official consignment tracking system of Austrian Post, either in the Post app (free for Apple and Android) or at post.at/sendungsverfolgung. If the Post cannot find any information on the specified consignment number, it is a fake parcel. The fake message can be deleted immediately.

Fraudsters repeatedly try to persuade their victims to transfer a small amount of money so that they can later use the account information they have obtained to make larger debits. For this purpose, problems with an alleged package are feigned. For example, a transfer of 2 euros is requested so that a parcel can be sorted, imported or delivered in the first place.

The Post never charges money for the onward transportation of a parcel that has already been accepted. If cash on delivery charges or customs duties are incurred, these are only collected when the delivery staff delivers the parcel or when the parcel is collected from the postal partner or post office.
Some fake messages request the recipient’s bank details to ensure the parcels can be processed. For example, overseas parcels can only be imported once online banking has transmitted or approved all account details.

In reality, the Post never requires account details to be disclosed for the delivery of parcels. These are only required when deliberately using its fee-based online services – for example, when ordering a parcel stamp in the online store or at AllesPost—as part of the ordering process.

Some fake messages claim that part of the address, such as the house number, is missing, and the recipients are asked to update their address information.

Under no circumstances will Swiss Post request shipment data during transportation or delivery. If the address on the parcel is incomplete or illegible, Swiss Post employees will do everything possible to deliver the item correctly. Otherwise, the parcel will be returned to the sender or stored.

It is a popular scam on the Internet: mystery boxes and unclaimed Amazon pallets can be bought for little money or at auction as part of a competition. Fake profiles with outdated logos and names, such as “Post-AG Paketverteilung” can also be found on Facebook and Instagram, offering undeliverable parcels for sale at low prices.

If addresses are illegible and parcels cannot be delivered, the Post may open these items and use invoices or similar methods to find the recipients or senders. Only if these searches are unsuccessful will the contents be stored and can be collected by the sender or recipient.

Fake e-mails and fake websites almost always have unusual addresses, as these are easy for fraudsters to register. For example, a glance at the sender or the address line reveals URLs or domains ending in .xyz, .buzz or .net.

Austrian Post always uses the Austrian ending .at in its messages and website. Other endings are not used by the Austrian Post.

Austrian Post does not communicate with its recipients via WhatsApp. All such messages can, therefore, be immediately recognized as fraudulent.

If there is new information about a parcel, Austrian Post always informs its customers by e-mail, text message, or directly in the official Austrian Post app. SMS messages from Swiss Post only ever provide information about the status of the parcel but never require any active action, such as transferring money or entering data.

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