A fake email purporting to be from the HM Courts & Tribunals Service is doing the rounds. It’s another phishing scam out to steal your bank details – here’s what it looks like.
We know from all our previous scam warnings that panic is a key tactic for scammers – they want to rush you into action before you’ve had a chance to process all the information.
Getting a parking ticket will often achieve exactly that, especially when it tells you that the penalty charge will increase if you don’t pay it within a certain time.
And this phishing email takes it further, not just threatening you with an increased fine, but a county court claim, too.
Threats like this can carry weight, which is exactly why it’s essential you take a minute to assess any email you receive before carrying out its instructions.
While at first glance this email may look legit, a closer inspection will reveal it’s not the full ticket – always be on the lookout for spelling mistakes, such as ‘penality’, and sentences that don’t quite add up (‘click here for more informations’).
Inspection of the sender’s email on your device will also show that it was not sent from a genuine GOV.UK account.
HMCTS warns about email scams
The biggest giveaway, of course, should be the fact that HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) does not issue Penalty Charge Notices.
HMCTS has issued a warning against this type of phishing scam. It states:
Fraudsters will copy the HMCTS logo and attempt to make the notice look genuine.
Any genuine email from HMCTS will be sent from an @justice.gov.uk email address. If in doubt, hover over the email address to see the true identity.
If you receive an email on a phone, you can check the address by clicking on ‘display name’.
If you’ve received this email, HMCTS recommends reporting it to Action Fraud, which you can do so by forwarding it to email@example.com
Phishing emails can always be reported to the National Cyber Security Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re concerned that you may have given your bank details to scammers, contact your bank immediately and let it know what’s happened. You can follow our guide to getting your money back after a scam here.
Have you received this fake email, or any others purporting to be from government departments? Let us know in the comments, and help warn others by sharing our scam alerts with your friends and family.