Dear Watch Member,
We have been alerted to reports of a criminal group who are mimicking the email domains of reputable law firms, attorneys, and debt collecting agencies to send emails asking for overdue payments. They are indiscriminate as to which industry they target.
The emails are designed to look very similar to those of the reputable organisations they are mimicking. They use “social engineering” to convince the recipient to carry out a particular action, such as to pay an outstanding invoice. Invoices are sent as a PDF file and appear the same as a legitimate invoice but the banking details have been replaced with those of the criminal group.
Indicators of “spear phishing” emails:
- Suspiciously spelled email addresses.
- Use of language prompting urgency or risk such as: “Urgent!” “Overdue!”
- Unexpected change of payment details.
- Threats that the “problem” will be raised to a manager or executive.
If you believe you have found a suspicious email:
- Do not reply, click on any links or open any attachments
- Compare the email address with a previous known contact address.
- Confirm any requests through a separate email address or phone number found on the company website or from previous correspondence known to be genuine (do not use contact details on the suspicious email).
- Escalate concerns to a colleague or line manager (but do not forward the email).
- Report suspicious emails by forwarding them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you believe you have sent money as a result of a suspicious email, contact your bank immediately. You can report incidents of cyber crime to ActionFraud.police.uk By doing this, you’ll help to prevent others becoming victims of cyber crime.
Please only reply if you have information that the sender has asked for by tapping on this email address: email@example.com. If you want to discuss anything else or report a crime, please refer to the Police Contact Advice below. Regards,
Watch Liaison Officer