Over the last few days, fraudulent emails in the name of the Monegasque Police Department that threaten “criminal proceedings for acts of a sexual nature” have been arriving in the inboxes of residents in the Principality.
The clumsily written emails, sent from a number of unofficial email addresses, allege that the recipient has been implicated in “criminal proceedings for acts of a sexual nature”. The receiver is asked to open a PDF document, which is sent as an attachment, and to send it back as a reply to the email.
The Monegasque government, via an official communiqué released on Thursday 18th May, has said that the emails have been widely distributed in an “untargeted manner”.
“This is a malicious attempted phishing campaign with the purpose of defrauding potential victims who would respond to the message,” reads the communiqué. “This false summons refers to alleged “criminal proceedings for acts of a sexual nature” brought against the recipient of the message.”
The advice of the government is to: avoid opening the PDF, not respond to the sender, immediately inform Monaco’s cyber department of the email via email@example.com, and to then delete the original fraudulent email.
The government also confirmed that the Police Department – or Direction de la Sûreté Publique – never sends summons of this type by email.
“The only email addresses used by government services are of the following type: firstname.lastname@example.org,” the official statement continues. “Some email addresses are specially created to look like legitimate addresses except for a small detail such as replacing the letter i with the letter l, adding a dot or any other character, in order to create confusion.”
Photo source: Bermix Studio