Consumer alert: Payment confirmation emails | ACMA

Consumer alert: Payment confirmation emails

The ACMA has received a number of complaints from Australians about emails alleging to be payment confirmations. A typical email subject might read, ‘Payment Info U602552996’, and aims to hook you into opening the email.
 
The email thanks the recipient for their purchase and requests they ‘Kindly open the doc file attached with this email to see more details about your order.’
 
This type of scam email is designed to entice you into clicking on an attached link before thinking the matter through. Clicking on a link in a suspect email may result in malware (malicious software) being downloaded to your computer or device. It is a commonly used and effective method employed by scammers and hackers.

> Do not open, reply or click on any attachment or link in any email you are not sure about.
 
> The ACMA encourages all consumers to be alert when using the internet, and offers the following guidelines on what to do if you receive a ‘suspect’ email:
 
> Do not reply to, or attempt to unsubscribe from, suspect emails. Replying only confirms that your address is legitimate.

> Do not click on links in suspect emails, including unsubscribe links. Visiting websites - by clicking on links in such emails - may result in malware being downloaded.

> Install anti-virus and other security software. If you download your emails to an email application on your computer, it is also advisable to install anti-spyware and anti-spam software. Use and update this software regularly. Use an auto-update facility if this is available. You can set most virus software to scan your computer at a set time. 

> Regularly download and install the latest security patches for your computer software, including your web browser. Use automatic software security updates where possible.

> Only open attachments to an email if the sender and the contents of the attachment are known to you. If an attachment needs to be opened, it should be checked by anti-virus software before opening.

> Use strong passwords for any application - including logging on to your computer - that provides access to your personal information, to reduce the risk of your accounts being compromised.

> If you use the email service of your internet service provider, check if they offer a spam-filtering service. You should note that spam filters will not block all unwanted emails. 

Learn more about protecting your computer from malware:

Last updated: 18 May 2016