Amid continued disruption in supply chains and mail services, scammers sought to use this fact to steal money and credit card details during the second quarter (Q2) of 2021.

Since last year, scammers have been taking advantage of disruption in deliveries to convince users to open malicious email attachments.

During Q2 2021 not only has this trend continued, but the cybercriminals have become more adept at localising their spam mailings. Users experienced a surge in invoices in different languages asking for money related to anything from customs duties to shipment costs.

With these mailings, victims are often taken to a fake website, where they risk not only losing money but also sharing bank card details.

Cybercriminals also launched websites that appeared to offer people the chance to buy parcels that could not reach the intended recipients. Such websites were set up like a lottery. Users were not aware of the contents of the package. They bid based on the weight of the package that – if they “won” – never arrived, even after paying the winning bid.

Another new trick from fraudsters during this time involved spam sent to WhatsApp requesting small amounts of money. These scams involved several different schemes. One asked that users take a survey about WhatsApp and send messages to several contacts to receive a prize. Another stated that the users already won a large prize – all they needed to do to collect it is pay a small fee.

An additional scam took advantage of the debate surrounding WhatsApp’s new privacy policy that allowed it to exchange information with Facebook. Cybercriminals set up fake websites inviting users to a WhatsApp chat with “beautiful strangers”. However, upon clicking the link to the chat room, the potential victim landed on a fake Facebook login page – and risks giving up their personal information. Users also received links for fake WhatsApp messenger apps, putting them at risk of downloading malware.

“As in the past, we’re seeing attackers take advantage of new trends and disruptions to steal money and credentials, whether that’s a growing user of messengers or continued problem with mail delivery amidst a pandemic,” comments Tatyana Shcherbakova of Kaspersky. “Spam and phishing schemes are still some of the most effective ways to launch successful attacks because they play on human emotion. The best thing users can do is be wary of any unexpected emails and never click on any email attachments – go to the website directly.”