The newest email and text scam is the one that says “check your order”, “your order status”, “your order cannot be shipped” or something similar, from businesses you are likely to shop, including Walmart, Costco, Amazon, Target and Walgreens, and also from FedEx and NetFlix.
Since more of us are ordering more online these days, it is more important than ever to be vigilant about our online orders.
I’ve gotten dozens of fraudulent emails and texts recently from those scam senders in recent weeks, and maybe you have, too.
The scammers have figured out that we’re all doing more shopping online this year than last year, and busy trying to scam us.
Many online scam emails come from websites based in Romania, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Or not. A growing number are from the USA.
I got one scam email about an order I never placed with Walmart from a scammer at US-based swbell.net.
And another scam email advising me to track my FedEx shipment from the domain signaturepoolsuk. No kidding.
firstname.lastname@example.org sent me an email recently advising that I had authorized ten $100 Apple gift cards to him. Lucky him that I would authorize $1,000 in gift cards to somebody I do not know. A phone call to Apple,and an email to apple.com/legal has resolved that.
Unfortunately, the scammer stole one hour of my life to ensure that Apple would not process the fraudulent claim.
A scam text I received recently told me my Amazon account has been locked, and to log into a specific website to unlock it. Of course, I have received Amazon deliveries since getting the scam fraud text.
Another holiday email fraud is the “official” letter from Santa.
Of course, Santa works for relocationluxuryreferralservices.com – just one of the “official” letter from Santa offers I’ve received recently.
Again, I’ve gotten these from websites based in both Eastern and Western European countries, and from Asian-based URLs, as well as from with a dot-net or dot-com URL.
So there are hackers, scammers and phishers everywhere in the world.
Do not be fooled by a holiday scam email.
Here is the buyer beware advice to avoid having your identity stolen or malware placed on your computer from these phishing scams:
Know what email address you use for online orders, so you can recognize when a “check your order” email arrives in the wrong mailbox.
Set up a separate email address for online ordering, so you can recognize when a “check your order” email arrives in the wrong mailbox
Use only email servers that allow you to check the address of the sender, so you can recognize a scam or phishing email before you click on a link.
Do not click on a link
All of these online scams rely on your trust – and your instinct to click on the link provided or phone number provided by the scammer to say NONO NO NO NONONO
So don’t do it. Report it to your provider. Report it to the company which claims to have your order.
Before you r4espohd to any “checking your order” or similar email, check the sending address, so you can recognize a scam or phishing email
Check the ecoXplorer Frauds and Scams page
for more frauds and scams to avoid
Be a smart ecoXplorer this holiday season, and year-round.
Avoid frauds and scams and save the green in your wallet.
This was published in 2020 and updaed for 2021.