How to spot fake emails like "DHL - Shipment Designated" phishing letter

Also Known As: DHL - Shipment Designated phishing scam
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "DHL - Shipment Designated"?

Upon inspection of the email, we have concluded that it is a phishing scam, where scammers attempt to obtain sensitive information from unsuspecting individuals. The email masquerades as a DHL shipment arrival notice and includes an attachment that leads to a fake login page.

DHL - Shipment Designated email spam campaign

More about the "DHL - Shipment Designated" scam email

This letter appears to be from DHL and is addressed to a customer. It informs recipients that a shipment has been designated for them and includes attachments that contain shipping documents, invoices, DHL receipts for tracking, and information on a new import and export policy.

However, this email is a phishing scam that aims to trick recipients into opening the attachment, which leads to a counterfeit login page where scammers attempt to steal sensitive information. That phishing page is a fake DHL login site requesting to log in using an email address and a password.

Scammers who obtain email addresses and passwords through phishing scams can use that information to gain unauthorized access to the victim's email account, social media accounts, or other online services where the victim has used the same login credentials.

Once they have access, scammers can use the victim's account to send spam, spread malware, steal additional information, or even carry out financial fraud. In addition, the scammers can use the obtained email address to send further phishing emails to the victim or others in the victim's contact list, perpetuating the scam and potentially causing more damage.

Threat Summary:
Name DHL - Shipment Designated Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Email contains shipping documents/invoices
Attachment Consignment.htm
Detection Names (Attached File) Google (Detected), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Disguise DHL shipment document arrival notice
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Similar scam emails in general

Phishing emails often include links or files that appear to lead to a legitimate website but take the recipient to a fake login page or other fraudulent site designed to steal sensitive information. Also, the sender of these emails is often disguised to appear as a legitimate source, such as a bank, social media site, or other well-known company or organization.

Examples of phishing emails are "Check Your Email", "Bank Slip", and "Webmail Security Changes". It is important to know that emails can be used to trick recipients into infecting their computers.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Cybercriminals send emails with attachments or links that contain malicious code. These attachments can be disguised as seemingly harmless files, such as PDF or Word documents, but when victims open them, the malware is installed on their computers without their knowledge or consent.

This allows the attacker to gain control of the infected device, steal sensitive data, or launch further attacks. In addition to attachments, phishing emails may also contain links to infected websites. These links can lead victims to a fake login page or a website that downloads malware onto their devices.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Be cautious when opening email attachments or clicking on links from unknown senders, and always verify the legitimacy of the sender and the content of the email before taking any action. Keep the installed software and operating system up to date. Use caution when visiting websites, and avoid clicking on pop-up ads or suspicious links.

Only download software from reliable sources such as official pages and verified stores. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "DHL - Shipment Designated" email letter:

Subject: New DHL Shipment Document Arrival Notice / Shipping Documents / Original BL, Invoice & Packing List


Dear DHL Customer  -, This is to notify you that the shipment has been designated as a recipient Please use the attachments below to view the shipping documents/invoices and DHL receipts below for tracking,

including the new import and export policy


DHL expressed

DHL Parcel Ltd         
© 2023 DHL

Phishing HTML attached to this email:

DHL shipment designated email scam phishing site

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

The majority of phishing emails are distributed to a wide audience, with the intention of tricking at least a small fraction of recipients into falling for the scam.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?

If you have provided your username and password on a phishing page, you should immediately change your password and enable two-factor authentication on any accounts that offer it.

I have downloaded and opened a malicious file attached to this email, is my computer infected?

If the file was executable, it is highly likely that your computer has been infected. However, if it was a document file such as .pdf or .doc, there is a chance that you may have avoided the infection since malware may not always be able to infiltrate the system simply by opening the document.

I have read the email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Merely opening an email poses no threat to your system. It is clicking on links within the email or opening any attached files that can potentially result in a system infection.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Combo Cleaner can identify and remove nearly all known malware infections. However, it is important to note that sophisticated malware often conceals itself deeply within the system. Thus, performing a thorough system scan is crucial.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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