WhatsApp, Gmail, and Outlook warn: Why open these? It is possible for messages to be expensive

WhatsApp, Gmail, and Outlook warn: Why open these?
It is possible for messages to be expensive

Don’t open any emails or WhatsApp messages without thinking carefully first. Kaspersky’s cyber security team has issued a stark warning that 2021 will be another year of scammers.

Cyber thieves have attempted to scam users by sending messages claiming that custom fees or shipment costs must be paid in order to release items ordered online. This is one of the most serious threats discovered recently.

Because of the pandemic more people are shopping online than they are going to their local shops. Crooks have been trying to make a quick buck. Kaspersky claims that many of these mails lead victims to fake websites, which can be dangerous for their bank cards and money.

Fake websites are another threat recently discovered. They offer the opportunity to purchase undelivered parcels which will not reach their intended recipients.

These websites work like a lottery, with the users unaware of what the contents are. In the hopes that the package will have some value, they bid on its weight. The winning bidder is then paid for the package, but the money is not sent.

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WhatsApp users need to be vigilant as the messaging app is a popular target for hackers.

A number of frauds on WhatsApp were found in the first half of 2021. One scam asked users to complete a survey regarding WhatsApp, and then send messages to multiple contacts to win a prize. One user claimed that they had already received a substantial prize and all they needed was to pay a fee.

Fake WhatsApp Messenger App links were also sent to users, which put them at high risk for downloading malware.

Tatyana Shcherbakova, Kaspersky’s security expert, said about threats: “As always, attackers are taking advantage of the new trends and disruptions that allow them to steal money, credentials and funds, regardless of whether it’s a rising use of messengers, or an ongoing problem with mail delivery in the midst of a pandemic. Because they exploit human emotions, spam and phishing are two of the best ways to launch successful attacks. Users can be cautious about opening unanticipated emails, and avoid clicking any links or attachments in email. Instead, go directly to the site.

These scams can be very dangerous, so here are some tips from Kaspersky:

Before clicking on any link, please verify that it is correct. Click on the URL to see a preview.

Remember that even if you receive a text or letter from a friend, it is possible for their accounts to be hacked. Be cautious no matter what. Be cautious even if the message appears friendly.

* You should always verify the address of any sender. Most spam comes from email addresses that don’t make sense or appear as gibberish – for example, or similar. You can view the entire email address by hovering over the name of the sender, which may appear oddly spelled. You can use a search engine to verify if the email address you are looking for is genuine.

It is important to consider what information you are being asked for. Unsolicited email messages from legitimate companies are not used to request personal information.

If the message creates a feeling of urgency, be cautious. Spammers will often create a feeling of urgency to put pressure on you. To pressure you to act, spammers may use words such as “urgent” and “immediate actions required” in their subject lines.

Publication at Tue 10 August 2021, 06:56:00 (+0000).

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