Amazon Australia scam emails doing the rounds again

Angus Kidman 8 December 2017

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Don't fall for these fake payment receipts.

Earlier this year, online hustlers took advantage of the constant rumours around Amazon launching in Australia with scam emails designed to get users to give up personal information and passwords via claims of a fake gift voucher. Now that Amazon has finally launched in Australia, scammers are having another crack.

Security software vendor MailGuard notes an email featuring a fake payment receipt is currently doing the rounds. The email includes a link to a file that includes malicious JavaScript code designed to compromise your computer. While it's a fairly obvious scam (why would Amazon be using the email domain lapitup.biz?), sadly that doesn't mean that people won't be fooled into clicking on it.

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The simple lesson here is to never click on any attachment that's in the form of a zip file. Odds are good that it's been sent by criminals. It's also a reminder that scammers will always try to exploit topical developments. I imagine scams around marriage equality and Prince Harry will be doing the rounds soon (if they aren't already).

As long as email exists (and it continues to survive despite constant rumours that we'll all be switching to Snapchat soon), there will always be scams. Modern email platforms are good at filtering out most of them, and decent security software will take care of the rest. But a cynical attitude and a dose of common sense are also a crucial part of the equation. Be alert, but don't be alarmed. And don't be clicking on those attachments.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.

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