Scam alert – ‘Helpful’ phishing scam

Scam alert – ‘Helpful’ phishing scam

After being contacted by concerned residents, the OFT is warning the public about a new scam.


Fraudsters are trying to appear helpful, with new ‘phishing’ emails which encourage the recipient to open an attachment on the false premise that they could have already fallen victim to scammers.


The phishing email is sent from a fraudster who describes himself as a “law-abiding citizen” and who has accidentally received the email recipient’s personal details. Attached to the phishing email is a document which the fraudster claims contains the recipient’s personal details.


The fraudster suggests that the email recipient’s details may have been made available to scammers and they are contacting them to try to rectify the problem. To do so, the recipient must open the document.


In reality, the attached document opens the door to malware being downloaded onto the victim’s computer. The malware attempts to obtain sensitive data from victims, such as banking credentials and passwords; this is subsequently used to take money from the victim.


Information and advice on this particular scam can be found on Action Fraud’s website at  This website is an excellent source of information and advice about the many different types of scams and how to avoid them.  


Further information and advice on ‘Scams’ in general can be found under the ‘Consumer Advice’ section on the OFT’s website or by calling the Office on 686500.


John Peet, Chief Inspector of Trading Standards, says:


“Action Fraud received over 200 reports concerning this particular scam in three days.  The fraudsters are continually coming up with new ways in which to obtain your personal details and subsequently take some money from you.  Be very wary of unsolicited emails, do not click on any links or open any attachments.”





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