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Warning over 'Royal Mail' email scam

Credit: PA

Humberside Police are warning people to beware of a new email scam by criminals claiming to be from Royal Mail. They've targeted businesses and personal users, persuading the victim to click on a link within the email that infects their computer with CryptoLocker ransomware.

The ransomware encrypts the victim’s system and a window appears requesting a payment, to be made in Bitcoins, in order to decrypt the files. Often it warns that unless between £300 to £360 is paid immediately, the cost will rise to £600 to £660.

The emails sent fall into two types:

It states Royal Mail is holding a letter and there will be a £5 per day charge if it is not collected. The email then instructs the victim to click on a link to get it resent, but instead the link infects the operating system with the ransomware. The second form of email states a parcel could not be delivered and is awaiting collection. A link on the email is provided for more information. This takes the victim to what looks like part of the Royal Mail website, where the victim is asked to enter a code – believed to be in the original email.

Once this is entered, the victim is instructed to download an application. Instead, the ransomware is downloaded.

“There are a number of simple steps you can take to protect yourself from scams like this.

“Look at who the email is addressed to. Is it generic or has it been specifically addressed to you? It also pays to look at the sender’s address. Does it seem legitimate?

“Take a closer look at the quality of the images included. Are they good enough to have come from Royal Mail?

“Never open attachments from unsolicited emails, no matter who they appear to be from.

“Even if an email appears to be from a legitimate company, don’t click on any links supplied. Go to the firm’s website and log in from there.”

– Michael Wood from the force Major Crime Unit

Scam warning

People are being warned to be aware of a new Lottery scam claiming to have links with the London 2012 Olympics. A concerned Nottinghamshire resident contacted Police after receiving a letter headed '2012 Summer Olympic Lottery', which says they have won a £900,000 prize.

The letter asks them to return a form completed with their personal details, including bank account information, to claim the prize.

Anyone who responds to a scam letter is likely to have their details circulated to other criminals and be bombarded with similar scam letters or phone calls. Trading Standards advises that you should never give your personal or bank account details to people you don't trust.


Hull scam

There is a warning for businesses in Hull after a company has tried to sell advertising for Humberside Police.

Three separate cases have been reported to police of a company calling itself Mode PR approaching business.

Humberside Police say they do not make calls of this nature and would never contact individuals or businesses asking for payment.