Avoid getting scammed by fake "DHL - Outstanding Payment" emails

Also Known As: "DHL - Outstanding Payment" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "DHL - Outstanding Payment"?

After investigating the "DHL - Outstanding Payment" email, we determined that it promotes an elaborate phishing scam. The fake email is presented as a shipping notification from DHL, which claims that delivery requires a fee payment. This spam campaign targets recipients' personally identifiable and financial information.

DHL - Outstanding Payment email spam campaign

"DHL - Outstanding Payment" email scam overview

The scam email with the subject "Urgent Payment Required for DHL#REF9222341" (may vary) informs the recipient of an outstanding delivery payment. The pending fee is $1.99, and by paying it – the recipient will ensure swift delivery of their package. If not paid within 24 hours, the order will be canceled, and the parcel will be returned to the warehouse.

It must be stressed that all the claims made by this spam email are false, and this mail is in no way associated with the real DHL logistics company.

After clicking the "payment link" button, we were redirected to a phishing website. The page continues to masquerade as DHL; it requests the visitor to provide the following information: full home address, birthdate, phone number, email address, and credit card details (i.e., cardholder name, number, expiry date, and CVV). Additionally, the page asks for the bogus fee, which requires providing a code via SMS.

To summarize, by trusting an email like "DHL - Outstanding Payment" – users can experience severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have already disclosed your private data by entering it into a phishing site – immediately contact the appropriate authorities.

Threat Summary:
Name "DHL - Outstanding Payment" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient needs to pay a shipping fee to have their package delivered.
Disguise DHL
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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Phishing spam campaign examples

We have investigated thousands of spam emails; "AliExpress Package", "Temu - Pending Package Delivery", "DHL Express - Incomplete Delivery Address", "Email Authentication Expires", and "IPS Pending Package Delivery" are merely some examples of phishing campaigns.

Aside from this kind of scam, spam mail is used to promote sextortion, callback, tech support, lottery, inheritance, philanthropic efforts, and other schemes. These emails are also used to proliferate trojans, ransomware, and other malware.

Due to how widespread spam mail is and how well-crafted it can be – we strongly recommend being careful with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns are commonly used to spread malware. Deceptive emails/messages can have malicious files attached to or linked inside them. These files can be archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), JavaScript, and so on.

Upon opening, an infectious file triggers the malware download/installation chain. However, some formats may need additional actions. For example, Microsoft Office files require users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents need them to click on embedded files/links.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is crucial to treat incoming emails and other messages with caution. We advise against opening attachments or links present in suspect mail, as they can be malicious. We recommend using Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic command execution.

Since malware is not proliferated exclusively via spam mail, we also advise being cautious while browsing since fake and dangerous online content usually appears legitimate and harmless.

Furthermore, all downloads must be made from official and verified channels. Another recommendation is to activate and update software by using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updates may contain malware.

We must emphasize the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security programs must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats and issues. 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 - Outstanding Payment" spam email letter:

Subject: Urgent Payment Required for DHL#REF9222341


Dear Customer,

We deeply regret to inform you that the shipment of your package through DHL is currently on hold due to an outstanding payment. In order to ensure the smooth delivery of your order, we urgently require a payment of $1.99.

To make this payment immediately and avoid any further delays, please use our secure online system by clicking on the following link:

payment link

Please note that failure to make this payment within 24 hours may result in cancellation of your order and return of the package to our warehouse.

We understand the importance of receiving your package promptly and are committed to resolving this matter as quickly as possible.

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "DHL - Outstanding Payment" spam campaign:

DHL - Outstanding Payment scam email promoted phishing site

Appearance of this fake DHL website used for phishing (GIF):

DHL - Outstanding Payment scam email promoted phishing site (GIF)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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?

Despite any relevant details that spam emails may contain, they are not personal. This mail is sent out in massive operations – hence, thousands of users receive identical messages.

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

If you have provided your log-in credentials – change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you have disclosed other private data (e.g., ID card details, passport photos/scans, credit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact the corresponding authorities.

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

No, just reading an email will not result in an infection. Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened.

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

If the opened file was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes; these formats cause infections almost without fail. However, you might have avoided compromising your device if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.). Some document formats need additional interaction to jumpstart malware download/installation chains (e.g., enabling macros, clicking embedded content, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to eliminate all manner of threats. It can detect and remove nearly all known malware infections. Keep in mind that running a full system scan is paramount since sophisticated malicious programs usually hide deep within systems.

▼ Show Discussion

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
DHL - Outstanding Payment phishing email QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of "DHL - Outstanding Payment" phishing email on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.