Scam Emails from British Gas & The Ministry of Justice
TorrentLocker “Ransom Ware”
Action Fraud, the National Crime Intelligence Bureau has passed on this warning.
A scam email is currently being sent to victims fraudulently claiming to be from British Gas or The Ministry of Justice. The attached document or link leads to the TorrentLocker ransomware which encrypts files on the victim’s system and requests a ransom be paid in order for the files to be decrypted; one reported amount has been £330 worth of Bitcoins.
Some anti-virus vendors are apparently detecting this and stopping the pages and or documents from being opened.
- If you receive an email that you are suspicious of do not follow any links or open attachments until you can verify that the email is genuine. To do this contact the organisation that the email has come from by sourcing the number independently from the email received.
- If you believe the email to be fake, report it to your email provider as spam.
- Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date this will help to mitigate the potential for virus to be downloaded. It should be noted that anti-virus software is constantly being updated and may not stop all viruses especially if they are new or been adapted. It has been reported that some anti-virus vendors are detecting this and stopping the pages and or documents from being opened.
- If you have opened an attachment or followed a link which you believe to be suspicious it is recommended that you run your anti-virus and/or take your machine to a reputable company to have it cleaned.
- In cases where files have been encrypted it can be very difficult to retrieve them, and in most cases they will be lost. It is recommended that you always back up all files on a separate device or cloud storage to ensure they are not lost. Please remember that if a device is attached to the infected machine the files on this could also be encrypted with the virus so ensure they are kept separate.
IF YOU ARE WORRIED THAT YOU MAY HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF FRAUD OR IF YOU NEED TO REPORT A FRAUD, PLEASE CALL ACTION FRAUD ON 0300 123 2040 OR USE THE ACTION FRAUD REPORTING TOOL, VIA THE ACTION FRAUD WEBSITE – www.actionfraud.police.uk.