A recent hoax in the UK has flooded e-mail user’s inboxes with a spam message asking recipients to pay parking fines, Hoax Slayer reported. The message supposedly comes from the British Ministry of Justice and includes the institution’s logos to make it look genuine.
The message, however, is a scam and users should remember that the Ministry of Justice never sends such messages or relevant documents via e-mail, and nor does it encourage people to click on such attachments or links, the website adds.
The scam works by urging users to open an attached file for further information. The attachment, however, contains malicious software that infects recipients’ computers when opened.
Furthermore, the fake e-mail reprimands users for not replying to a previous message warning them about their parking dues. The message then threatens to impose extra fines if users do not pay within 28 days, and states that the Ministry of Justice also has “photographic evidence on file” that supports the claims in the e-mail.
It is natural for users to be anxious regarding messages about outstanding bills or fines and many are likely to open the attachments, the website notes; this is precisely what cybercriminals hope for. In cases where users open the message, the malware collects personal data which it later uses for credit card fraud.
If you happen to receive such a message, do not open the attached files or click on any other links. Please report the message to the UK’s Action Fraud website.