Beware Fake Delivery Notice Scam This Black Friday

Dennis Faas's picture

Millions of North Americans will take to the Internet in search of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals this coming weekend. But experts warn that cybercrooks are using a number of schemes to catch unsuspecting shoppers in their web.

Avira security expert Sorin Mustaca says it's imperative Internet shoppers take extra caution when opening emails with attachments (like those featuring PDF or HTML sales flyers), clicking on links in emails, and visiting sites that offer bargains that may be too good to be true.

"All these things have something in common: social engineering and greed," Mustaca says.

Beware Fake Delivery Notices

Proofpoint, a security firm that specializes in protecting messages sent online, says it's learned of cybercriminals using fake delivery confirmations to lure web shoppers into clicking malicious links.

Proofpoint says these fake notices have used a range of popular company names, including Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, FedEx, UPS, and DHL.

Proofpoint executive vice president David Knight says that, given how excited many of us get about shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's not surprising so many people are duped by these kinds of schemes.

"We're human; we're compelled to click," Knight said. "And we're even more human during the holiday season." (Source:

Smartphone Cybercrime on the Rise

Another important cybercrime trend worth noting: buying goods using a smartphone is becoming increasingly dangerous.

A recent study by identity verification company Signifyd found that 1.3 per cent of all purchases made with a smartphone were fraudulent.

By comparison, 0.8 per cent of sales using desktops were fake, while only half a percent of purchases made using a tablet were found to be fraudulent.

The problem, according to Signifyd executive Rajesh Ramanand: retailers are getting lazy with mobile security.

"Companies are trying to get the mobile experience to be as frictionless as possible, so they're putting less checks at the point of checkout to give the customer that terrific experience," Ramanand said.

"Fraudsters are finding ways to exploit this hole." (Source:

So, be vigilant this holiday shopping season. Approach all emails with caution, and take extra care when making purchases with that iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, or Android-based mobile device.

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