Do not panic: AFP impersonated in latest infringement notice email scam

Posted by Akankasha Dewan on 12 October 2018 16:40:27 AEDT

If you have been summoned by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to appear in court via an email today, you may have received a hoax notice. Having brandjacked AFP, cybercriminals are sending emails informing recipients that they are guilty of a law violation.

Appearing as if sent by an ‘AFP Officer’ called Kristy Merlino, the poorly-worded email actually comes from a compromised MailChimp account which seems to belong to ‘Kristy Merlino Photography’.

The email advises recipients to visit the nearest police office or ‘view notice’ and includes a link to ‘Print Out Case Info’.

AFP blog

Clicking on the link leads to a file download prompt before a malicious .doc file is downloaded to victims computers.

Download Prompt

This email scam is a classic example of cybercriminals exploiting the reputation of trusted and well-known brands and organisations, in this case the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and also manipulating the emotions of recipients. Who wouldn’t be nervous receiving an email from an AFP Officer, and at the very least curious enough to click through to find out more?

How can I protect myself from these types of email scams?

To reduce the risk of being tricked by one of these scams, you should immediately delete any emails that:

  • Seem suspicious and ask you to download files or click any links within an email to access your account or other information.
  • Are purporting to be from businesses you may know and trust, yet use language that is not consistent with the way they usually write (including grammatical errors)
  • Ask you to click on a link within the email body in order to access their website. If unsure call the company/person directly and ask whether the email is legitimate.

For a few dollars per staff member per month, add MailGuard's cloud-based email filtering protection to your business security. You’ll significantly reduce the risk of new variants of malicious email from entering your network.

Talk to an expert at MailGuard today about your company's cybersecurity needs: 1300 30 44 30

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Topics: Phishing office 365 AFP email scams Threat Update

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