Phishing scams seem to be all the rage these days – don’t fall for this one as your holiday packages start to arrive! Beware of text messages from the “Zollamt” or any other links from unknown senders…
Their timing was perfect…
I had just ordered gifts for friends from Amazon, very excited, and therefore vulnerable to deception…
The gifts were shipped from outside of Germany and cost more than 40 euros. So I wasn’t all that surprised to get a message regarding Zollgebühren or customs fees. I thought, “Oh, this is new. How convenient!” So I clicked on the link and began the process of giving this scammer all my information including my credit card number.
I didn’t realize it was a fake until multiple tries to get an Authentication SMS for my payment. Don’t judge me. I was tired. I was on a train with spotty internet…
Once I finally got suspicious, I googled and realized I had made a giant mistake. What I should have done was check my tracking number on the DHL website first. Had I not been expecting a package, I would have never fallen for this. But since they hit me at the exact moment where it was feasible, they got me. DANG!
If you’re ever tired, lacking in brain cells, and fall victim to a phishing scam like Brie, here’s what to do:
Cancel your credit card
I was able to do mine quickly online and my bank automatically issued out a new one. It did, however, take about a week to arrive. If you are unable to cancel your card right away, watch for any suspicious charges and alert your bank accordingly.
Take screenshots of the text message and the link if you can. My bank, ING DiBa has a place to report such scams so I emailed my screenshots to email@example.com.
Here’s what mine looked like:
Hopefully, this scam has already been crushed by the amazing efforts of myself and others, but if not – stay on the lookout! I’m sure there are many others similar to it swimming around.
Stay safe and scam-free!
If you ever receive correspondence in German that you need help understanding – get in touch! We can send you professional translations for your quick understanding. Or we can set up a meeting with a professional to explain an important letter to you, help you write a response, and even make calls in response on your behalf.