Phishers like Gil never take a vacation. Now that the holiday season is drawing to a close, perpetrators of phishing schemes are using new tactics to lure unsuspecting recipients into their nets.
One such scam involves enticing the recipient of a phishing attempt with free gifts. You may receive unsolicited but familiar-looking e-mails with offers to “Start Your 2020 with a Free Gift from Us.” Be cautious with these e-mails. They usually involve confirming delivery details for a free gift and paying a small fee for shipping costs.
The e-mails often include a link to a tracking code. When a recipient clicks on the link, they are asked to pay the balance on a shipping fee (sometimes as low as $1) in order to pick up the free gift. This is a ploy to obtain the recipient’s credit card information. Some phishers will automatically “decline” the credit card number entered, in an effort to get a second credit card number from the recipient. There is no gift for the e-mail recipient at the end of this process.
To avoid getting caught in Gil’s phishing net in the new year, be aware that these so-called gifts may be attempts to steal your personal and financial information. More information about this scheme and how to protect yourself can be found here: https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2020/01/06/dont-fall-for-the-start-your-2020-with-a-gift-from-us-scam/
For more information about protecting yourself from phishing attempts, please visit the Office of Information Security’s phishing guidance page.
If you think you have received a phishing e-mail, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.