POLICE are urging people in Ashbourne to be on their guard after spotting an email scam allegedly attempting to dupe internet into downloading a virus.
Detectives say the fraudulent email, which purports to have been sent by the Royal Mail in the run up to Christmas, could be malicious if it is not immediately deleted or moved to a junk folder.
The scam email attempts to capitalise on the seasonal influx of posted parcels and states that Royal Mail is holding an item for the victim with the subject header often saying ‘Mail – lost/missing package’.
The recipient is then asked to open up an attachment and fill in the form to receive their parcel.
Police are urging the public not to open these attachments as it is believed that it contains a zip file with a malicious virus.
Detective Inspector Rob King, Head of the Derbyshire Constabulary Economic Crime Unit, said: “From time to time we receive alerts from our fraud prevention partners alerting us to current and predicted trends of scams.
“Although we are unaware of any cases in Derbyshire it is really important for us to get the message out in to the public to raise awareness and prevent future victims of this type of fraud.”
The Royal Mail is aware of the scam and is taking action to protect customers from these fraudsters.
A spokesman for Royal Mail has issued a reminder that it will never send an email asking for credit card numbers or other personal or confidential information.
The service has also assured customers that it will never ask internet users to enter information on a page that isn’t part of the Royal Mail website or include attachments unless the email was solicited by a customer, for example, if the customer has contacted Royal mail with an enquiry or has signed up for updates from Royal Mail.
Anyone who thinks they may have received a fraudulent email is advised not to open the attachment and immediately report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Alternatively web users can choose to visit the organisations website for advice and tips on what to do at www.actionfraud.police.uk