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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Staffordshire Police - Fraud Alert: Whale Phishing Campaign

Your latest Smart Alert.
National Crime Agency Fraud Alert - Fraudsters claiming to represent UK Secretary of State for Defence or the Defence Permanent Secretary targeting high net worth individuals.

Unknown fraudsters have contacted high net-worth individuals, claiming to be acting or working on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence or the Defence Permanent Secretary, and has attempted to fraudulently obtain substantial sums of money to pay ransom money, on behalf of UK Government, for the release of UK nationals held hostage overseas.

To date, the fraudsters have targeted business leaders or wealthy persons and requested varied amounts of money.

The fraudsters have sought to engage the intended victim via their office or Personal Assistant, initially through email.

Emails have been spoofed to purport origination from a sender within the UK Ministry of Defence, and used variations of "From" addresses with domains designed to mimic Gov / MoD organisations. The emails did not contain any attachments or links.

The fraudsters have attempted to engage the target victim into providing monies on behalf of the government for the purpose of paying hostage ransom money for UK nationals held abroad.

To date no attempts have been made in Staffordshire, that we are aware of, however this still remains a threat.
We would always advise the following:-
  • Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password
  • Don't assume an email, text or phone call is authentic
  • Don't be rushed - a genuine organisation won't mind waiting
  • Listen to your instincts - you know if something doesn't feel right
  • Stay in control - don't panic and make a decision you'll regret
  • Avoid engaging with the fraudsters via phone or email.  Hang up the phone and never reply to suspicious emails.
  • Never transfer money.
  • Keep hold of any communications from the fraudster for evidential purposes, including phone numbers, emails and IP data.
  • Report to Action Fraud.