Ransonware

Email Scam From AFP

Today we would like to remind you of the importance of NOT clicking any links in your emails unless you are very sure of where the email came from and if you can trust it.

In the last couple of weeks we have heard of and seen on TV how people are getting emails from the Australian Federal Police. ( well not really but that’s what the email says)

here is what the AFP website says. (see story here)

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is urgently warning the public of an email scam currently circulating throughout Australia and internationally that requests payment for a bogus AFP Traffic Infringement Notice.

The scam email initially asks the recipient to pay an ‘AFP fine’ of approximately $150. If links within the message are clicked, the recipient’s computer is infected with malware which renders it inoperable.

At that point ransomware is activated where the recipient is asked to pay thousands of dollars to reactivate their computer.

AFP National Coordinator Cyber Crime Adrian Norris has said anyone who receives the email should delete it immediately.

“This email has taken off widely today and looks legitimate, and many people have been compromised, so I would urge people to be vigilant,” Superintendent Norris said.

“The AFP never sends out traffic infringement notices via email, so if you have received an email that purports to be from the AFP and have doubt about its authenticity, do not make a payment or provide personal details.

“This email scam looks legitimate and contains AFP branding and may be from email addresses like TrafficInfringement.afp.org, TrafficInfringement.afp.com. or similar.

“Payment of this Traffic Infringement Notice will not go to the AFP, your money will be going to scammers overseas.”

Superintendent Norris said this was a timely reminder to ensure your anti-virus software is current and those who may have received the email to consider running a virus scan of their computer in case it has been infected.

Members of the public who believe they have been a recipient of the fraudulent email should report it to the Australian Cyber Crime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) immediately via http://www.acorn.gov.au/ or to ScamWatch http://www.scamwatch.gov.au.

So the rule is, Don’t click on any links in your emails unless you are sure you know where it has come from. And Remember, The AFP, Your Bank (or any bank), Microsoft, Telstra etc etc will not email you unless you are expecting an email because you have recently spoken to them etc.
You just have to think, how did they get my email address? Did I give it to them? If No, then consider it a scam.

Ransonware

The above AFP email was opened by a customer of ours and EVERY personal file was encrypted, as well as many other files on his computer. So in all, 33,000 ( yes that many) files we locked up with no known way to get them back. He lost 100’s of photos and documents.

Oh and remember also that if you have any USB devices like backup drives are also part of your computer when they are plugged in. So unplug these when not in use.

Lesson learnt the hard way.

Please take care

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