Australian Federal Police email scam

9 July 2009

A fraudulent email that appears to be from the Australian Federal Police has been received by many consumers. The email says that the AFP is investigating you because your credit card has been used in purchases linked to known criminal organisations and that you should not contact your bank or the local police.

Scammers have written the email to make you feel like you have been involved in criminal activity and that you will be prosecuted if you do not cooperate with their demands. This is designed to scare you into providing your personal and banking information and deter you from complaining to your bank or the police.

The email demands that you click a link in the email to show your innocence. It also provides a link to ‘free monitoring of your account against all future hacking and phishing attack’.

If you receive such an email, do not click the links—delete the email immediately. Responding will only give scammers a chance to get your personal information or money from you or to install harmful software onto your computer.

If you have clicked on the link or provided personal details, contact your financial institution immediately. You should also consider installing anti-virus and spyware detection software on your computer.

SCAMwatch stresses that the AFP would never send out emails requesting personal information or banking details for any reason.

For more details and a full copy of the fake email, please visit the AFP website.

Protect yourself

  • If you receive unsolicited emails claiming to be from the AFP, your bank or other government departments—delete them immediately! These organisations never send emails asking for you to confirm or provide your personal details.
  • Never send your personal, credit card or banking details in response to unsolicited emails, and do not enter those details on any website if you are not certain the site is genuine.
  • Don't open any attachments or click on any links in, or reply to, these emails.
  • Use phone numbers or web addresses only from sources you know are legitimate—such as telephone directories or official letters or statements from organisations. Never rely on contact details provided in unsolicited emails.
  • If you have clicked on links in hoax emails or provided personal information via email or on a website, contact your bank immediately for advice.
  • Install and keep up-to-date anti-virus and firewall software on your computer.

Report

Report the matter via the Report a scam page in SCAMwatch. Warn your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours about the scam.

More information

Explore SCAMwatch to find out more about phishing scams and tips on how to protect yourself.

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