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Fraudsters impersonate DHL, Amazon in November phishing email surge

Fraudsters are targeting online shoppers by impersonating companies such as DHL and Amazon amidst the ecommerce boom, a new report has found.

Through analysis of its cyber security platform, Check Point found that between October and November, shipping-related phishing emails captured by its software rose from 244 to 1075.

Phishing is a method of attack where the hacker sends a message purporting to be from a trustworthy individual in order to steal information such as usernames, passwords and bank details. In this case, the emails claimed to offer tracking links or to warn customers of a shipping issue but would then invite them to submit personal details.

The report found DHL was the most impersonated company, making up 56% of the total volume of emails. Amazon came in second place with 37% and FedEx in third with 7%.

Europe saw a 401% rise in the emails between the two months, with the figure rising to 491. In North America, the figure rose 427% to around 373.

“Unlike classic phishing emails that are designed to lure people into giving personal details, credit card info or bank account credentials, these emails are specifically impersonating shipping vendors with different versions of fake messages reporting a “delivery issue” or “Track your shipment” details,” the blog from Check Point said.

“All are trying to lure the recipients to submitting details and stealing credentials or financial data.  We believe hackers have specifically chosen this vector in November, as they know that large numbers of online shoppers are waiting for their packages to arrive and are more attentive to shipping-related emails while they may be more aware of more traditional ecommerce related fraud and phishing attempts.”