Like the packages you’ve been ordering nonstop, the holidays are at our doorstep! So, naturally, if you were to get an e-mail from FedEx asking for some information, or informing you of a problem with a recent delivery, there’s a good chance you may look over the authenticity of the situation. We are here to tell you, however, that that would be a mistake.
Hackers and scammers alike are well are, and harping on the fact, that consumers are making and expecting more and more deliveries this time of year. This means that the odds of their spam e-mails, dolled up as pertinent information to you, will actually wrap somebody up (some slight pun intended there).
Recently, a reader reached out and told us that they had received an e-mail with the subject line Fed Ex delivery problems notification. From the get-go, I had doubts about the message.
The message looked legitimate (as it was forwarded on), being that it bore the FedEx logo, and came from “Elizabeth” (presumably a FedEx employee), however the e-mail was not from a FedEx email account. It was clear a hacker had gained access to “Elizabeth’s” account or computer and was using it to send spam messages.
What really stood out to me, though, were the constant, glaring, grammatical errors. Errors like, “An package containing confidential personal information was sent to you,” told me that it could not be legit, being that a company as large and prominent as FedEx wouldn’t allow that to happen.
Below the message the words “Tracking Update” were in the form of a hyperlink. When the the cursor was placed over the link, it revealed that it would have directed us to some weird 3rd party website, continuing this scam.
It might have been a benign scam – getting us to help the spammer earn a little ad revenue. Or it could have been more sinister, downloading malware or, worse still, loading ransomware to seize complete control of the computer. We’re not sure, and we didn’t let it get that far, but the fact is, it could have been either, or both. There is the possibility of numerous scams out there circulating this same plot.
Being that this is nothing new to Fed Ex (the company disclosed that it has received many reports of fraudulent emails using its name and logo), they left us with some advice and tips to identify these schemes. “If you’re unsure about the message, disregard the e-mail and contact us directly” a company official stated, also noting that other subject lines may include “Shipping Conformation,” “Verify Info,” “Some important information is missing,” and “Please fulfill the documents attached to verify your identity.”
Fed Ex also made sure to say that it does not send unsolicited emails to consumers requesting information regarding packages, invoices, account numbers, passwords, or personal information. The company also requested that when you get one of these messages, you should delete the email or forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is scary to realize how susceptible we are to scams like this, but they are easily avoidable. With the knowledge to both identify and handle these things, you will make it through the busy holiday season scot-free. Please share this with your friends and family, as we don’t want anybody to be affected by this! If you happen to come across this scam or one you find on your own, please contact us so we can help you and inform others!