How the scam works:
The Land Registry is a government agency in the United Kingdom, whose purpose is to register all property ownership in the country. Recently an email has been circulating to British homeowners allegedly from the Land Registry. This email contains a warning to property owners, indicating that they owe an outstanding debt to the government agency in order to be in compliance.
The emails state that the reason for the debt can be accessed in an attached .zip file which, when opened, downloads malware to the victim's PC.
This fake email is all the more dangerous in the fact that it looks very legal and official, indicating a very professional job. The scammers have even added the actual telephone number of the Land Registry in the email, further legitimizing the communication, which is somewhat surprising given the fact that a few would-be victims actually called the number and an official Land Registry recording is advising property owners to be on the lookout for the scam.
How to avoid the Land Registry Email Scam:
If you receive one of these emails make sure to contact the Land Registry to verify the legitimacy of the communication. Any time you receive a message with attachments it is unwise to open the attachment unless it is from a known and trusted sender. Don't be taken in by the professional look of an email, even if the letterhead and all of the contact information is valid. Scammers are getting more and more sophisticated in their efforts.
Also, be aware that these scammers often have the attachment set up to automatically forward the message to everyone in your contact list as soon as the attachment is opened. It will not be appreciated to be known as the person who is putting all of your friends, family and professional contacts' at risk!
How to report the Land Registry Email scam:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the the real Land Registry office using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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