Scammers have been targeting people in Cornwall with a new and “alarming” phishing scam to steal personal information, police warn.
Police said that the new email scam will look as if it has come from a good Samaritan trying to warn people about having their information stolen, but really it is a scam to do just that.
Residents of the Newquay area first raised the alarm about the scam which has since been seen across Cornwall.
The scam has been referred to as “more alarming than most” by police.
A police alert was issued to warn people not to reply to the email.
The alert said that the emails will contain your actual home postal address, as well as an attachment that requires a password to open.
According to the police alert, the email in will be similar to this:
“I am disturbing you for a very important occasion. Though you don’t know me, but I have considerable amount of data about you. The fact is that, most probably mistakenly, the info about your account has been dispatched to me.
“For example, your address is:
“1 Street Name
“[The above would be your actual home address]
“I am a law-obedient citizen, so I decided to warn may have been hacked. I attached the file – [Your Surname].dot that I received, that you could find out what info has become available for fraudsters. File password is – 1234
“[If you receive this, or any other suspicious email, do not open the attachment!]”
The email was discovered by a person who saw through the good Samaritan act and forwarded the scam to the police.
Police said that there were “only a handful of references” to the scam that they could find, which indicates it is a new scam.
It is believed that people who receive this email scam could have had their email addresses leaked via a website that has suffered a security breach.
Police are advising people to make sure that they change online passwords to banking, social networks and emails regularly.
Police said that people who receive an email similar to the one above, should not open the attachment, change all passwords immediately and report it the email to Action Fraud.
The Action Fraud team can be contacted on 0300 123 2040, or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk