June 25, 2024

The Australian community has been cautioned about a scam that has potential to deceive them into surrendering essential personal data. Scammers have been distributing an email masquerading as Australia Post, informing the recipient that a parcel couldn’t be delivered because of an “incorrect” or “unreachable” address.

This is just one of many Australia Post scams reported in recent months, aimed at tricking unsuspecting Australians into accessing a harmful link or sending money. Australia Post informed Yahoo Finance that they would “never contact anyone through SMS or email requesting personal or financial information or payments”.

Besides advising you to click a link to rearrange delivery, this fraudulent email also demands a nearly $5 penalty.

Screenshot of Australia Post email scam next to hand reaching into Australia Post box

This deceptive Australia Post email is being circulated by scammers in an attempt to steal your personal data. (Source: Victoria Police/Getty)

If you have fallen victim to a scam like this, kindly email stew.perrie@yahooinc.com

Victoria Police has warned that this is a straightforward way for hackers to exploit your information.

One essential step is verifying the authenticity of any link sent to you. Australians are advised to examine the URL carefully to confirm it truly originates from Australia Post.

“Avoid clicking links in emails or messages unless you can confidently identify the sender,” stated Victoria Police. “You can verify the destination of a hyperlink by hovering your cursor over it. Avoid interacting with the link if the website appears unfamiliar.”

One can also inspect emails or SMS for spelling errors. Other common signs of a scam are distorted or unclear images and company logos.

Australia Post has urged individuals to exercise extra caution when they receive calls, texts, or emails from individuals claiming to work for them.

“We’re witnessing an increased public understanding of scams and cybersecurity, however, we urge customers to be aware of how to identify a scam, including looking out for non-Australia-Post web addresses and unusual urgency,” a spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

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“If customers come across a suspicious text or email that claims to be from Australia Post, we advise them to report it to scams@auspost.com.au and promptly delete it.”

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Last year, record-breaking losses amounting to $3.1 billion were reported by Australians who fell prey to scammers, indicating a spike of 80 per cent compared to the previous year.

Scamwatch has advised to be wary of the following situations:

  • An extraordinary opportunity to earn or save money

  • A stranger requesting your help – and financial aid

  • The message includes links or attachments

  • You feel forced to take action swiftly

  • They request payment in an unconventional or specific method

  • They ask you to establish new accounts or Pay ID

Immediately contact your bank and report the scam. Request your bank to halt transactions and stop sending any money.

File a scam report to Scamwatch here and submit an official police complaint here.

Be cautious of subsequent scams, particularly those claiming to recover your lost money. Scamwatch issued a caution that one in three fraud victims are deceived more than once.

Lastly, seek support for yourself. Consider contacting a financial counsellor or reaching out to BeyondBlue at 1300 22 4636 or here for an online chat or Lifeline for crisis support online here on 13 11 14.

Alternatively, you may also contact IDCARE, who can “mitigate the harm caused by the misuse of your identity information and provide an effective response”