Drivers are being warned to ignore a new email which is circulating widely – and claims you have been issued with a parking penalty charge.
Consumer champions Which? say the email claims to be linked to the Government website gov.uk.
It claims to be from the HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and reads: “Penality Charge Notice. You have an unpaid ticket. Please find more informations by clicking here,” reports The Mirror.
The email threatens an increased charge or court action if you don’t pay.
The scam email (Image: Which?)
But the email contains several spelling and grammar mistakes, including ‘penality’ and ‘informations’ and if you click on the sender’s name, you’ll see that it does not come from a genuine GOV.UK account.
HMCTS has issued a warning against this type of scam.
It said: “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’.”
Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at ESET, said: “It is important to take a few seconds to look into the legitimacy of any email, especially if it urgently demands a payment of any kind. All too often we are caught up in a moment of panic and can easily click on genuine-looking links, firing off personal and financial information.
“Cybercriminals are persistently sending out campaigns like this – casting the net far and wide in the hopes that someone will fall victim before realising their fate.
“The vast majority of phishing emails still use random – and sometimes obvious – fake sender email addresses when clicked on, so it is important to start here.
“However, if you are ever confronted with an urgent email requiring payment, choose another method of verification such as searching for the company in question online and call their helpline rather than communicating via the suspicious email.”