SCHEMING Fraudsters are sending out fake British Gas utility bills by email that link to a virus which takes over the victim’s computer.
Action Fraud has received hundreds of reports of emails designed to look like a utility bill.
Entitled ‘Your Summer Gas & Electricity Bill’, the email contains links that take unsuspecting recipients to a website where they are instructed to download a file in order to view their bill. After downloading the file, the virus locks users out of the computer before directing them to an online payment page.
British Gas say that their emails will always be personalised to their customers, and often quote British Gas account numbers where the email relates specifically to the users account. The emails will only provide links to the www.britishgas.co.uk official website.
Those who receive the fraudulent emails are asked to not click on any links, but to use the British Gas website to log in.
The company warns that fraudsters are able to ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone the recipient may know, and advise customers to check emails carefully to identify the sender. Anti-Virus software should also be regularly updated.
Anyone who has downloaded the virus should contact Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.