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Don't get caught out by email delivery parcel scam this Christmas warns Highland Council Trading Standards

3rd December 2018

Highland Council Trading Standards have recently become aware of a new phishing e-mail (or text) scam.

Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit/debit card or bank account details by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an email or text.

In this new twist, scammers send an email (or text) to unsuspecting recipients posing as a well-known delivery parcel services. The fake email (or text) may look genuine as it has the correct full details of the recipient, including name full name, full address, and correct mobile or other phone number. Scam emails (or texts) are disguised as tracking messages or alerts from household named delivery businesses, but also include a link which may be used to either steal the recipients' bank details and/or download malware or both when users click onto the link.

The suspect emails (or texts) don't explain what the supposed parcel being delivered contains, which could entice users to click links or open attached files.

Phishing scam emails (or texts) relating to online shopping increase dramatically in the run up to the festive season period. Highland Council Trading Standards warn shoppers to be on their guard and don't click on a link in any unexpected email or text.

Shoppers should also be on the lookout for other phishing scams offering bargain deals. The old adage that if it seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is, applies here.

Advice to anyone who receives one of these emails or suspect texts:

• Do not call the number provided.

• Do not give your card details.

• Do not click on the link provided in the text or email.

• Never attempt to open a zip (file) directly from your email.

• Delete unexpected zip (files) directly from your email.

Action Fraud has provided information on their website for members of the public who have fallen victim to this type of scam as part of their ‘fight festive fraud’ Christmas campaign at:

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/new-campaign-launched-to-fight-festive-fraud or report a scam by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Concerned recipients can also contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service for further advice on 03454 04 05 06 or by going to http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/scotland/consumer_s.htm (external link)

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