A personalized note for the scam

My inbox had a new variant of an old scam: send a Pandora’s Box of a file disguised as something else. This time, “DHL” is trying to tell me that my package cannot be delivered, and to claim it, I must open this file to get the form.

I hope everyone who’s ever gotten one of these knows better than to click it: all kinds of evil pops out if you do. According to Sophos Security, this file contains Mal/BredoZp-B and Mal/Zbot-FV, capable of allowing remote hackers to steal your information and take control of your Windows PC. Just what would improve your day, right? Sophos reports a huge increase in this kind of attack in the last few months, coming out of Taiwan, Singapore, and Viet Nam.

My inner editor observed the email, and thought, hmm, no spelling mistakes, has a professional look to it, a comforting looking toll free number, a plausible looking tracking number… I’m not expecting a package from anywhere, certainly not from an international carrier. I’ve seen these before in much cruder form, but for grins, I thought I’d try the tracking number, which I pasted in the tracking window at DHL (which I arrived at without clicking anything this email offered me.

*red pen time* DHL tracking numbers are 10 digits. And good luck finding that 800 number, which Pam the fact-checker wanted to compare. It might be there, and it might even be correct, but I don’t plan to grow old searching for it.

If I was indeed expecting a DHL package, I might have considered clicking, but even so, one should never click blindly, but investigate through the carrier’s website using the tracking number.

So, like an anthology submission that doesn’t quite meet the call, this one gets rejected.  Not a form rejection this time, but a nice personalized note, explaining that execution is polished but the plot is trite.

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