The Centre for Cyber Security Belgium that groups reports of this kind of criminal phishing activity received no fewer than 5,000 suspicious text messages purporting to be from Bpost last weekend alone.
The message reads “your parcel is on its way, click here to track it”. Many thousands of people received the text over the weekend. The text was sent out by criminals using the technique known as phishing to try and get hold of their victim’s personal details and to use these to plunder their bank accounts.
Although many of those that received the text will have smelled a rat, not least because the link they had been told to click on made no reference to Bpost and/or because the text was in French, some will doubtless of have fallen for it, hence the warning issued today.
Bpost’s spokeswoman Veerle Van Mierlo told VRT News that the post office is powerless to do anything to stop the text messages being sent. However, “If we send a text it always comes from the number 8152. We never send a text from a standard mobile phone number, which is what happened here”.
Ms Van Mierlo added that if you want to track a parcel you should use the Bpost app. "Because there you get a Track & Trace number that you can use to track your parcel. Here there is a link without any number”.
Anyone that has received a suspicious text can reported it to the Centre for Cyber Security Belgium via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Centre’s Katrien Eggers told VRT News that “If you have received this text there is a big chance that your number is in a leaked database. This means that sadly you can expect to receive other such texts in the future”.
Phishing is big business for cyber criminals. Last year the method netted them a total of 34 million euro in ill-gotten gains.