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Is an e-mail from Amazon.com a scam attempt or real?

Posted on 2016-07-19
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Last Modified: 2016-08-07
Is an e-mail from Amazon.com a scam attempt or real?

I have an e-mail in my inbox saying it is from Amazon.com, subject: "Your Amazon.co.uk order has dispatched (XXXXX)" (X = numbers and letters).

Is it any danger to open this e-mail? If for real, it could be someone has used my Paypal to order something to himself/herself.
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Question by:hermesalpha
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Assisted Solution

by:Benjamin Voglar
Benjamin Voglar earned 120 total points
ID: 41719045
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Assisted Solution

by:Benjamin Voglar
Benjamin Voglar earned 120 total points
ID: 41719049
In our company one of our users got cryptolocker just by opening on of fake amazon links.
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by:Qlemo
Qlemo earned 200 total points
ID: 41719060
This can only be determined if you examine the mail header and links provided very carefully (without clicking on the links, of course). Some fake mails are made very, very sophisticated and hence difficult to classify as phishing. It also often helps to web search for the subject text, to get a feeling.
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Qlemo earned 200 total points
ID: 41719062
Note: As with everything you have an account at, best advice is to open the original web site yourself and manually, login, and get order info etc.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 41719066
By the way, in relation to this, why do some phishing e-mails so clearly and evidently give themselves out as being fake by intentional spelling mistakes and other irregularities? I sort out most of the fake e-mails just by looking at the syntax and language used. The really difficult ones are the ones that are perfect in all details.
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by:Qlemo
Qlemo earned 200 total points
ID: 41719084
That is correct - some fakes are just ragged, but more of those are intentionally misspelled. One theory is that people not looking at such mistakes are the appropriate cliental for phishing - easy meat.
Misspelling is also a way to fool automated detection systems only looking for keywords.   séx will work for your eyes, but not the SPAM detector ;-).
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LVL 38

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by:Rich Rumble
Rich Rumble earned 150 total points
ID: 41719202
You're in Hong Kong, did you order, or do your orders come from the UK ordinarily? Mispellings are a thing of the past, I'm surprized misspellings lasted as long as they did, how hard is it to copy word for word a legit email? Why do virus's insist on using User-Agen'ts that aren't typical or standard... it's baffeling to me.

The more modern advise for Phishing attacks are:
You shouldn't have to enable anything, or run something to look at it's contents (think office macros)
Urgency or time-sensitivety are very effective phishing techniques, but also a give away.
Email's that you are not expecting or from sources you are not expecting or know.
-rich
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LVL 30

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by:Scott C
Scott C earned 30 total points
ID: 41719272
Simple question...Did you order anything from Amazon?

If you did not, delete the email.

It sounds like you were not expecting this email.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 41719383
I didn't order anything from Amazon and I checked my Paypal now: nothing had been paid for from there either. So I know it's not a legit e-mail now.

Worse when I received an e-mail from my accountant, which then triggered 15 attempts to break into my Google account during 15 minutes when I clicked on a link it it. Someone had hijacked his identity and then used it to send false e-mails to his customers, among them me.
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Expert Comment

by:Scott C
ID: 41719396
So you answer your original question...Yes it is dangerous to open that email.  PERMANENTLY delete it.

And that you know your accountant's contact list has been compromised, you need to be EXTRA careful and diligent about the emails you open.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Rich Rumble
ID: 41719435
So should your accountant. It is more important now more than ever to not reuse passwords. Site's are breached, and passwords are leaked, criminals are trying your passwords on any other sites and using the email address's from the leaks as your user name. This is why, for decades, we, the security industry have been saying not to use common, easy to guess passwords, and to have unique passwords for each service/account you use.
Use 2fa with your email if it supports it, your email address is basically the one service you have to protect most.
-rich
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Author Closing Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 41746260
Thanks, I never opened that e-mail of course.
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