FRAUD officers have warned of a fixed penalty notice scam circulating in South Yorkshire.
The fraudulent email tells people they must hand over £25 for failing to pay a fee for using their vehicle on a certain road.
It claims to be from HM Courts and Tribunals Service and asks the recipient to click a link to pay the money.
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “This scam email is a typical example of phishing: where cyber criminals try to trick you into clicking on the links within their scam email or text message, or give away sensitive information.
“These messages may look authentic but they are malicious. Once clicked, you may be sent to pay money directly into the fraudsters’ bank account, you might have nasty viruses downloaded onto your computer, or your passwords may be stolen.
“Spotting scam emails is becoming increasingly difficult as they look so professional.
“If you are not sure whether the email you have received is genuine, contact the place it claims to be from via their official website or using a known phone number, not via any links within the email.”
Tips for spotting a suspicious email:
- The email claims to be from someone official, such as your bank, a solicitor or a government department.
- You are warned there is a limited time to respond and there are threats of fines or other negative consequences if you do not comply
- The message uses threatening language that makes you feel panic, fear, hope or curiosity.
- The email is themed around a current event. Criminals often exploit current news stories, big events or specific times of year (such as tax reporting) to make the scam seem relevant.
You can forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have responded to the scam and lost money, contact your bank and report the crime to Action Fraud on 0330 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk.