Michael Schaper, deputy chair of the ACCC, says to independently source contact details for the ACCC through an internet search or phone book. Photo: Michel O’SullivanIs this the most fiendish scam yet? The ACCC has been forced to send out an alert about a new con where fraudsters impersonate the consumer watchdog itself.
Nanjing Night Net

A quick check of the ACCC website confirmed the warning has come from the ACCC itself and is not a scam by the impersonators.

The commission said the scam emails contained demands for money, as well as malware that infected the victim’s computer and could be used to extort money.

“In the past week, several businesses have reported receiving bogus requests from the ACCC to respond to a complaint that has been made about their business, or seek payment for an infringement notice for breach of copyright,” the ACCC reports.

“People should be on the lookout for ransomware, which is a type of malware that freezes your computer and demands a ransom for you to be able to access your computer again. Scammers commonly ask for bitcoins or ask you to transfer money by wire transfer but even if you pay the fee, there is no guarantee that your computer will be unlocked,” ACCC deputy chairman Michael Schaper said.

He said no money had been reported as lost at this stage and the emails were easy to spot as fakes if you “check the email address of the sender before clicking on any links”.

The scammers have been using email addresses such as @accc.govt419论坛 – Australian government agencies use .gov419论坛.

Another used by the scammers is [email protected]南京夜网.

Government agencies do no use free web-based email accounts such as outlook南京夜网.

The emails were also generically addressed to a ‘Business Owner’ and might contain errors, the ACCC said.

“If you unexpectedly receive an email from the ACCC, do not click on any links or respond to contact details provided in the email. Instead, independently source contact details for the ACCC through an internet search or phone book,” Dr Schaper said.

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