Picture the scene. You are waiting for an important shipment that is late or has gone missing in transit. You receive an email that states that your delivery is due for delivery but an additional customs fee needs to be paid. It is only a small amount due and you simply pay the amount, using your credit card to get your package.
Except it wasn’t from the delivery company. And now they have your personal and financial details, but alas not your package. By clicking on the link in the email you could also be exposing your devices to malware, spyware or ransomware.
It may sometimes be necessary to pay additional fees due to customs requirements but the legitimacy of these can be quickly checked with the courier themselves.
Here’s three things to check on an email pretending to be from a delivery firm to determine if it is real or not.
- The email will contain the tracking or consignment number that you can verify on the courier company’s own website (and not following a link within the email);
- The sender email address will be
- The spelling and the grammar within the email itself. It may look OK but read and re-read it a few times to see the mistakes. In the example above there are at least 5 common errors.
It takes just a few minutes to check the legitimacy of such emails – it is a smart investment of your time and will save the pain of having to untangle the messy after effects of such as scam.