New email scam

One of our members was recently caught off guard by a new email scam.

New email scam

One of our members was recently caught off guard by a new email scam and nearly fell victim to it. So, we show you how to recognise this new threat and avoid losing thousands of dollars.

Glen sent us an email recently after he received an email from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) informing him that he had been fined $150 for ‘negligent driving’.

After remembering some of the advice we had given previously on staying safe online, and before clicking on anything, Glen sent us a screenshot of the email to ask if it was a scam. 

It turns out that it was, indeed, a scam, and it’s been making the rounds nationwide, locking people out of their computers and demanding thousands of dollars to let them back on, as otherwise, it will delete everything and possibly even break the computer. 

This type of scam is known as ransomware and it’s becoming more commonplace as people begin to rely more and more on their technology – because they are more likely to pay large sums of money to protect it. 

The AFP has issued a media release warning people of this new scam and advising those who have received it to run a virus scan in case your device has been infected.

AFP National Coordinator of Cyber Crime Adrian Norris stated that:

“Payment of this Traffic Infringement Notice will not go to the AFP, your money will be going to scammers overseas.” 

“Many people have been compromised, so I would urge people to be vigilant”. 

“The AFP never sends out traffic infringement notices via email”. 

Below is an image of the scam email.

If you think you may have received this email, be sure to scan your computer with up to date antivirus software, and even if you haven’t received it, it might be a good idea to check out some of Drew’s advice for avoiding email scams.





    COMMENTS

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    Young Simmo
    2nd Jun 2015
    11:30am
    YEP, If you don't know or recognise the sender HIT DELETE.
    A pretty simple and obvious bit of advice really.
    It amazes me how many people are still being caught out, after 10 or so years of advice which is almost daily on TV these days.
    Adrianus
    2nd Jun 2015
    2:27pm
    I think the message is be alert and think carefully before you click!
    Surely the above email is recognisable as a scam. Who would not want to unsubscribe from getting these sorts of bills.
    I had a call yesterday from a Henric Lewis from Telstra. Said he was going to help me fix my computer because "a lot of viruses have been detected." I told him "I will need to call you back, what is your number?"
    He replied "NO! your computer needs to be fixed now. He had a Nigerian accent I think.
    I'd like to know what their odds of success are? It's only a matter of time before all of us get up to speed on this super highway and drive these lowlifes out of business.
    Young Simmo
    2nd Jun 2015
    2:38pm
    Frank, that is why I bought a high frequency whistle and hope they are using ear plugs when I blow my guts out. If I deafen them for 10 minutes, it's a good day for me.
    Adrianus
    2nd Jun 2015
    6:38pm
    A happy man whistles.
    pate
    2nd Jun 2015
    11:32am
    Imagine anyone getting caught with such an email if they are stupid enough not to realise that the Australian Police do not have anything to do with traffic fines needs to be fined by the local police.
    maelcolium
    2nd Jun 2015
    12:44pm
    Yes it made me giggle too. Particularly the option to unsubscribe< so if you don't want to receive fines you just off the emails?
    SuziJ
    5th Jun 2015
    9:18am
    Pate, If you live in the ACT, the AFP will fine you. They're the ACT's police force, so someone who lives in the ACT would fall hard for this scam. I know, as I had lived in the ACT and surrounding districts (NSW) from 1986 - 2010.
    Golden Oldie
    2nd Jun 2015
    1:17pm
    How can you possibly pay by the due date, 10/05/2011? Or has this scam been going around without change for 4 years.
    KSS
    2nd Jun 2015
    2:01pm
    And you get 28 days to pay from EITHER the date of service of the infringement notice OR the reminder notice.

    So by my reckoning, you have at least 56 days to pay if you are that stupid.
    biddi
    2nd Jun 2015
    1:38pm
    DON'T click on anything that tells you your HOTMAIL account needs dealing with.
    KSS
    2nd Jun 2015
    2:02pm
    Or the one that says your Pay Pal account has been suspended!

    2nd Jun 2015
    1:58pm
    This still isn't as bad as the guy who was fined $151 for driving 100kph in a 100kph zone in Mooloolaba. Doh!
    KSS
    2nd Jun 2015
    6:06pm
    As he said, 'caught red-handed being a law abiding citizen!'
    AussieTuca
    2nd Jun 2015
    1:59pm
    For those who are not afraid of computers, follow the instructions on this page:

    http://malwaretips.com/blogs/australian-federal-police-virus-removal/

    My son and I had this problem a couple of years ago and we "treated" the bug using Malwarebytes Anti-malware (one of the ways suggested on that page).

    At the time not all anti-virus had a cure for this and I had to delve into some folders to delete a few related files. A restore is a good idea but who remembers to create a system restore point often? Some people don't even know what that is...

    Search the net and you may find a better solution.

    Good luck!
    KSS
    2nd Jun 2015
    2:05pm
    I suggest you use two separate malware detector software. That way you can be confident if one doesn't find the virus, Trojan or spyware the other probably will.
    KSS
    2nd Jun 2015
    2:10pm
    Another obvious giveaway is the usual poor standard of English. These things are usually littered with poor grammar, bad spelling, and sentence structures that do not stem from English! Dead giveaways all of them.

    Also check the sent e-mail address. You just have to hover your mouse over it (no need to click) to see where it came from. The AFP does NOT have a .org address!!!
    Dotty
    2nd Jun 2015
    2:54pm
    There is also another scam going the rounds by Phone , where this male voice tell you that he is from the Australian Taxation office in Canberra and that they have issued a writ against you for taxation fraud and tax evasion and to ring this particular number and talk to them to see if you can make arrangements !
    The male voice sounds Irish But who knows,and apart from that anyone calling you would not tell you that they are from the Austalain Taxation office in Canberra as its usually the ATO in your home state that handles anything like that !!
    " PLEASE BE AWARE THIS IS A SCAM "!!
    Dotty
    \
    Dotty
    2nd Jun 2015
    2:55pm
    Also this can also be teft as a message on your home phone or answering machine as mine was and also my neighbour's ! And they seem to be targeting older resident's !
    Dotty
    Sen.Cit.90
    2nd Jun 2015
    3:06pm
    Possibly most of you know of this site; if not log onto it and you will receive all current know scams.
    noreply@accc.gov.au>
    Sen.Cit.90
    2nd Jun 2015
    3:18pm
    Sorry this address should read:
    www.scamwatch.gov.au/
    pate
    2nd Jun 2015
    3:13pm
    Thee ones whpo really get me going are the ones who ring my phone & ask who is speaking and Iask who wants to know they try to bluff so I just say goodbye & hang up. I pay for my phone I do not pay so that idiots can ring me to ask questions.
    KSS
    2nd Jun 2015
    6:08pm
    Yes I get those too. I usually say they rang me so don't they know who they are ringing? They usually just hang up.

    2nd Jun 2015
    3:41pm
    My wife and I have an AppleMacPro (laptop) and each an Apple iPad which we have never had any trouble with viruses whatsoever, and hopefully never will. We do not use them for Internet banking (nor the phone), but do purchase items online on the rare occasion. We do not use malware of any type but keep out IOS updates current when they come through. If you want to have more peace of mind (which we don't think is necessary in our circumstances) there is a totally free antivirus malware for Mac (IOS) called "Sophos for Mac" which you can find through Google or any other search machine and make your own decision about it or other protection.
    Young Simmo
    2nd Jun 2015
    4:46pm
    Another helpful hint is to go in here and register.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    From: ACCC
    Sent: Friday, May 29, 2015 2:06 PM
    To:
    Subject: SCAMwatch email alert: Fake Debt Collectors [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

    Fake Debt Collectors
    View radar online.

    Added: May 2015


    May 2015: SCAMwatch is warning of phone calls from scammers claiming to collect debts.

    Recently scammers have been cold calling, claiming to be from energy providers,telecommunication providers or even government departments. Scamwatch have received reports of these phone calls demanding payments for overdue accounts and using the threat of disconnection to try to convince people to pay. These calls are targeting both individuals and businesses.

    On some occasions it has been reported that the caller was from Centrelink and that pension payments would be stopped unless the debt was paid. Other examples include threats of arrest or court action for unpaid fines or bills or the threat of disconnection to essential services. What appears to be common to al lthese scams is the use of threats to create a sense of urgency so the recipient of the call doesn’t have the time to check the authenticity of the demand.

    If you receive any phone calls claiming you owe money for your energy or phone bill you should investigate this independently. You should call your provider usingthe phone number found on your bills or on their website. Do not provide any personal or financial details over the phone.

    How these scams work
    You receive an unexpected phone call from a person claiming you owe money for your phone or energy bill.
    The phone numbers they use will appear local but this doesn’t make the demand any more legitimate.
    The caller may be very threatening saying that if you do not pay you will be disconnected, receive a fine or your government benefits will cease.
    The scammer will provide some bank account details that they want you to pay to or ask you to pay by wire transfer.
    Protect yourself
    If you receive a phone call asking to pay an overdue account, check its legitimacy by contacting your supplier using telephone numbers you know from bills you have received, the phone book or that you have found independently from an online search.
    Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
    If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
    Do not send money via a wire transfer to pay a bill.
    Report
    You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.

    More information
    See the Western Australia Department of Commerce media release: Pensioner loses $15000 to phone-scam

    Stay one step ahead of scammers, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter.
    bevharro
    2nd Jun 2015
    4:57pm
    I received an email today saying that my Apple iPhone had been used to log in to FaceTime and had been locked.
    I am constantly receiving emails supposedly from banks I have no account with and fraudulent emails supposedly from Telstra.

    What I do is copy the Properties of the email and forward on to the relevant company to look into.

    Click on Forward Email, in the Subject Line put Fraudulent Email and in the body of the email at the beginning just say why you are forwarding on and below that paste in the Properties of the email. This makes it so much easier for them to track it down.

    It is easy to get the Properties of the email:
    File
    Properties
    Details
    Now just copy and paste all the details to your email.
    pate
    2nd Jun 2015
    5:05pm
    As I know to whom I owe money whenever an account may BE DUE PLUS APPROXIMately how much I daRE anybody to try to bluff me to pay an account which would not be due anyway.
    loraines
    2nd Jun 2015
    7:49pm
    I get calls every day from a a Private Caller. When I actually pick it up, they tell me they are Baycorp Corporation chasing an unpaid debt. They want to know all my details before they will give me further information so I hang up on them. But they still keep calling every day. I went to the Police as they also sent me an amateurish letter demanding I contact them. Quite scary how much they persist even though I have been downright rude to them.
    Has anyone else had this happen?
    KSS
    2nd Jun 2015
    8:28pm
    Out of interest what happened when you went to the police?
    loraines
    3rd Jun 2015
    12:52am
    Police just listened and told me to report it to the scam lists online. Which is what I'm doing.
    Gypsyfeet
    2nd Jun 2015
    9:01pm
    Yes I received one of these scam emails, immediately ticked as spam, Knew the minute I saw it that the Federal Police do not dish out driving offenses. HOWEVER BEWARE OTHERS DOING THE ROUNDS & THEY ARE CONNECTED. Late last year I received an email which offered a years free home delivery from a major supermarket for a registration fee of $10. Everything about the email looked authentic & I had had home delivery service from this supermarket, They then claimed I had signed up for a save money club at $39.99 per month. I tracked them down & thought I had stopped them & got my money back. They were the sprat to catch a mackerel, after Xmas suddenly a parcel arrived from Ti wain with very expensive face creams, I looked into my account because the same day I received an email from my Mobile phone provider saying no funds in my accounts. I was horrified, 2 x $10 delivery fee had been taken ; this is a test deduction to see if it's noticed, then before I had even received parcel nearly $250 had been taken, they had tried to take 2 lots of $250, but after 'Free Home Delivery' scam, I kept very little in my card account. (That card was canceled & replaced, so they are tracking via other traders I pay on a regular basis, Working with the Visa Card investigators & Australian Crimes Commission ACORNS dept that deals with cyber crime we tracked these people down & luckily I had one sheet of paper that connected them to the earlier scam. Two new cards since Christmas & all the stress that goes with it. Some traders such as Mobile phone account, insurances, broadband accounts insist on payment monthly out of your Visa account. Its hacking into these traders that get them your new details. Push such traders to accept payments by B-Pay or direct debit from an account not attached to your card,
    margw5
    2nd Jun 2015
    10:20pm
    Yep - I've had people phoning telling me that I've had an accident and are helping me with my compensation claim; I ask them how do they know and they get flustered and hang up.
    Same with calls about my computer; I tell them I work for Apple, and also for the Federal Gvt. And that I'm recording their calls! That gives me a bit of a laugh.


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