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‘Used for criminal activity’: Warning about new inbox scam

·2-min read
Australians have been told to stay alert to a growing scam risk. (Source: Getty)
Australians have been told to stay alert to a growing scam risk. (Source: Getty)

Australians have been urged to remain vigilant against a new scam sliding into inboxes, telling potential victims they have unread messages.

Security company MailGuard sounded the alarm on Friday, warning that the scam could be used for criminal purposes.

“Got an email claiming ‘You have 5 pending messages’? Beware, it’s likely to be the latest email now being intercepted by MailGuard, looking to harvest customers credentials,” the company said.

“Sent from ‘Email Service’, the suspicious looking simple email from ‘info(at)mazcollage(dot)xyz includes a headline with bad grammar reading, ‘You have 5 pending messages inbox.’”

The email asks targets to “re-activate” their account by clicking on a link, however once users click the link they are taken to another page that tells them they are using an “old mailbox interface” and they need to log in again.

Users are then asked to confirm their account by sharing their password details, before being redirected to their email address’s domain.

“MailGuard strongly recommends all recipients of this email to delete it immediately without clicking on any links,” the experts warned.

“Providing your personal details can result in your sensitive information being used for criminal activity and may have a severe negative impact on your business and its financial well-being.”

They also shared some signs an email isn’t trustworthy.

They include emails which are not addressed to the recipient by name and which are from businesses that the recipient was not expecting to hear from.

Emails that use poor English or lack personal details that would normally included in a legitimate email, or that have links directing recipients to unexpected sites should also be treated with caution.

“All that it takes to devastate your business is a cleverly worded email message that can steal sensitive user credentials or disrupt your business operations,” Mailguard said.

It comes after Australians lost $324 million to scams in 2021, significantly more than the $176 million lost in 2020 and $142 million stolen in 2019, according to Scamwatch.

“The 84 per cent increase in losses to scams in 2021 is significant and is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the true impact on Australians,” ANZ vice president at cybersecurity company Proofpoint Crispin Kerr said.

“The data shows scammers were extremely active in 2021 and we anticipate this will only increase as scammers continue to evolve and update their tactics.

“It is critical for consumers to remain vigilant.”

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