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Royal Mail Scam

How the scam works:

If you live in the United Kingdom, you might be a target of the Royal Mail scam perpetrators. They are looking into downloading CryptoLocker ransomware into your computer.

There two variations of the scam. According to The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) cited by Action Fraud, "one of two email types have been received by the victims, both stating that the Royal Mail are holding an item for the victim and that a response to the email is required to arrange for the item to be resent/collected:

1. Email states that they are holding a letter and there will be a £5 per day charge if the letter is not collected. It then instructs the victim to click on a link to get the letter resent. From here the ransomware infects the victims system.

2. Email states that a parcel could not be delivered and that it is waiting for collection. A link on the email is provided for further information. The link takes the victim to a page that appears to be part of the Royal Mail website where victims are requested to enter a code (believed to have been in the original email).  Once the code has been entered the victim is instructed to download an application, this application downloads the ransomware."

The email address that these scams are coming from is:

"The ransomware encrypts files on the victim’s computer and a window appears requesting a payment, to be made in Bitcoins, to decrypt the files. There is further incentive for early payment as the ransom states that the cost of decrypting the files will increase the longer the fine is outstanding. The victim is asked to pay around £300-£360 initially, rising to £600-£660 if not paid within a period of time. The victims of this fraud, although primarily individuals, does also include a number of businesses.", informs Action Fraud, which is the National Fraud& Cyber Crime Reporting Centre in the United Kingdom.

How to avoid:

NFIB recommends that you look at who the email is addressed to, to see if is it generic or specifically addressed. "Look at the quality of the images included on the email. Are they of sufficient high quality that they could come from Royal Mail? Do not open attachments from unsolicited emails regardless of who they are from. Do not click on the link supplied. Instead, go to the relevant website and log in from there. Check the address of any email received to see if it appears legitimate". To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool HERE.

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