Hello. Thought I’d share with you a suspicious email that came into my inbox the other day. A speeding fine from Great Manchester Police! Take a look at the screen-shots.
It’s a good looking email, in the sense it appears to look genuine. But be careful with something like this. Don’t click on anything. Best to not even open it at all in the first place (but it’s often too late) because just opening an email can send a message back to the sender that the email address is active and ok to send more spam to. Worse still to open any attachment. If you do open the email (and worse click on a link within it) at best nothing will happen, at worse your computer or phone will get hacked leading to possible data or financial loss. Here’s how I know this wasn’t legitimate:
- Sent to an email address I rarely use and certainly never use for anything official like car registration or tax details. Think about whether the company/organisation/individual has your email address and if they do would they contact on using it?
- The email was sent from an email address that is clearly nothing to do with the police. The Greater Manchester Police’s website is http://www.gmp.police.uk/ so one would expect an email from them to come from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, not email@example.com.
- After checking the links within the email (before opening them) you can see their destinations don’t match the domain the email address if from and more importantly didn’t correspond to anything to do with organisation (in this case the police). This is an easy way to tell that things aren’t what they appear to be. Hovering-over / long-pressing on / right-clicking on a link will usually tell you the full address of where it is going: in this email the link to ‘Examine Speeding Device Proof’ is going to angyscreations.com…. which is strange….
- I’ve never heard of police contacting people caught speeding via email – letters are sent to the registered address of the vehicle owner. This address system is old, tried and tested – police won’t abandon this easily or at least without letting people know about it loudly (through TV, radio etc.). The same applies to being able to view photographic evidence online – never heard of this.
- The email gives lots of information, but nothing personal to you: ‘Speeding Device UIN’, offence location, speed could all be made up; and no personal identifiable is given such as registered driver, address, vehicle registration etc.
There’s a lot of signs and I certainly didn’t think about all of the above straight away, but with a moment’s hesitation before clicking on things I give myself a chance to consider more and make the right choice to ignore the email. Like I said before it’s better not to even open the email at all but if you do I would open it on an up to date iOS device like (iPhone or iPad) as they are more secure.
Disclaimer: I have not followed any other links in this email, so cannot say for certain what was to happen.
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