POLICE have issued a warning about a new email scam circulating.
The email received is from the legitimate email address of a friend or family member of the receiver and says they are overseas and in trouble.
The dramatic story varies from email to email – some contain only a few lines while others have been several paragraphs long - but Superintendent Brian Hay of the Fraud and Corporate Crime Group said the intention of the email is always the same – to ask for money.
The recipient is asked to help their friend by sending cash or depositing funds into an overseas bank account.
“This is a scam. The person who sent the email has had their email account compromised causing emails to be sent without their knowledge to their entire email list,” Detective Superintendent Hay said.
“An important tip for people receiving this email is to contact your friend or family member directly. Firstly check to see that they are safe. If they are and have no knowledge of sending you this email, it is important you tell them their account has been compromised.
“The person who has had their account compromised will need to scan their computer, change their passwords and advise their entire email list they are fine and the email they received was a scam.
“We are currently looking into this further but believe the person’s account has been compromised most likely after they have opened a phishing email. The email has then deposited a virus or keylogger onto their system allowing the scammer to take control of their email list,” Detective Superintendent Hay said.
“This is certainly an alarming scam and proves that people need to be so vigilant these days. Unfortunately it is no longer enough to just delete emails from addresses you don’t recognise.
“You need to be so cautious with all your email, texts and mail. Always take time to attend to these tasks without distraction,” Detective Superintendent Hay said
If you have received the email and have not sent money report the incident to Scamwatch at www.scamwatch.gov.au
Anyone who has received this email should also be extra cautious of any emails future emails received. If your account has been compromised, police advise that a good measure would be to consider changing your email address.
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