12,000 reports of phishing e-mails purporting to be from parcel companies in 1 day

On Monday the Belgian Cyber Security Centre received more than 12,000 of fraudulent e-mails that had been sent to people all over the country. This is three times the number received on an average day. The lion’s share were about fraudulent e-mails purporting to be from parcel companies in which the recipient is asked to pay outstanding shipment charges. The Belgian post office Bpost stresses that it never sends out e-mails demanding the payment of outstanding shipment costs.

Those of you that checked your inbox on Monday might have come across an e-mail asking you to pay 4.95 euro shipment for a parcel you were yet to receive. The e-mail states that the parcel will only be delivered once the payment has been made.

Under no circumstances should you pay the 4.95 euro as the e-mail has been sent by fraudsters. It is a so-called phishing mail, an e-mail with which criminals try and fraudulently obtain cash from their unsuspecting victims.

Bpost’s Veerle Van Mierlo told VRT News that  “The was a first batch of these e-mails two weeks ago and today we’ve noticed that they are doing the rounds again. Customers are asked for money in order to receive a parcel”.

Late on Monday evening the Centre for Cyber Security reported that it had received more than 12,000 reports of the e-mails during on Monday alone.

Bpost’s Veerle Van Mierlo stresses that the Belgian post office will never send out e-mails asking for shipment charges to be paid simply because payment is always made when a parcel is sent. “You should be very suspicious if you receive an e-mail like this”, Ms Van Mierlo warns. Anyone with any doubt about e-mails or other communication they might have received from Bpost can contact the post office’s customer care centre on 02/278.51.20.