August 28th 2015
Fraudsters don’t take holidays, and this bank holiday weekend, Get Safe Online is warning people to remain vigilant to fraudulent emails (as well as scam phone calls, texts and social media posts).
The two emails reproduced on this page were received this morning by the same person. Scam emails are normally sent at random in the hope that they a certain number will be picked up by those who bank with, shop at or make payments to the organisation they falsely represent … and many are.
Coincidentally, the recipient of both of these emails happens to have a PayPal account and recently paid the toll to use the Dartford Crossing in Kent. Therefore, unless he had been vigilant, he could have been scammed twice in the same morning.
Both have classic tell-tale signs of fraudulent emails:
The one purporting to come from PayPal features the logo, but it does not address the recipient by name and the English is exceptionally poor. Clicking on the link will take recipients to a fake website requesting confidential login details, enabling the fraudsters to access their PayPal accounts.
The one from ‘Dartford Crossing Charge’ bears no resemblance to an official email as there is no logo, it is not addressed to anybody, and there is no proper explanatory text, sign-off or legal information. In this type of email, clicking on the attachment will infect your device with malware, which could lead to your identity, privacy and finances being put seriously at risk.
What does make these emails seem authentic to the uninitiated is the fact that the scammers are using the identities of authentic and reputable organisations to send them. In this case, PayPal and Dartford Crossing have not been hacked nor had their email or other servers compromised, and these organisations are innocent victims, just like the people who receive the emails.
The team at Get Safe Online hopes you have a great relaxing bank holiday weekend and enjoy safe, secure use of the internet.