Beware of the Fake Order Scam – Simple But Effective

  • July 05, 2021
  • Bradley Taylor

One of the more common scams to be aware of is the “fake order scam”. This scam begins when you receive an email telling you that “your items are being shipped” or “your order is confirmed”. If you click any link in the email you are directed to a phishing page , a page which contains a virus or a contact page custom made to look like an online retailer.

This scam is so effective for several reasons. First, almost all of us order something from the internet. This means that the number of potential victims is massive. Second, the email knowingly plays into people’s urge to react and respond quickly to a perceived mistake (or scam). Finally, the scam is easy to pull off. Customizing a scam page to look like an online retailer is easy to do and blasting out millions of emails from a server located in India or China is just as easy.

Luckily for us, many of the emails they send are poorly constructed. The graphics are usually poor quality and the language in the text is incorrect. A scam is usually easy to spot if the person takes a minute or two to study the email. Look at the image below. This is a scam email we received just this morning. Look how poor the quality is. The text has a strange glow around it because it is a not real text at all but just a low quality image.

Retail Scam Example
The scam email even goes so far as to add little adverts for DVD’s and books at the bottom. Sometimes they will include real links to Amazon as well.

The scam message will always list high ticket items like electronics and the bill will be large. This is designed to illicit that aggressive quick response they are looking for.

Sometimes, there will be a phone number to call. On the other end of the line will almost certainly be a “customer service agent” with an Indian accent. Their job is to get money from you by any means necessary.

Some scammers have much better techniques and will use better graphics than the one presented above. It is a good idea to never click links in emails and to always study an email message before acting on any information contained therein.

A great channel to check out about this stuff is Jim Browning’s Tech Support Scam channel on YouTube. He goes through the various types of scams there are and even turns the tables on the scammers at various points. Its definitely worth checking out.

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