Since the beginning of December 2023, Action Fraud and the Suspicious Email Reporting System (SERS) have received over 180 reports concerning the impersonation of National Crime Agency (NCA) agents.
The victims describe receiving an email purporting to be from the NCA. The email states that the NCA has evidence that the recipient has accessed and viewed “child pornography” or other “illegal pornographic content”.
The emails demand that the recipient make contact within a specified deadline. If they do not, the email claims that a warrant will be issued for their arrest and that the recipient’s details will be added to the sex offenders register, quoting legislation in an effort to make the threat sound legitimate.
It is assessed that the intention of the email is to prompt the victim into initiating communication with the suspects so that personal information can be disclosed to be used for blackmail or to commit fraud. Unlike other emails which impersonate law enforcement, there is no up-front demand for money however, where victims have engaged with the suspects, they have demanded money at a later stage.
The use of such threatening language creates a significant and emotional impact upon the recipient. The time pressure that is applied encourages victims to panic and act without thinking, unknowingly exposing themselves to compromise and blackmail.
What you need to do
- The NCA will not send unsolicited correspondence requesting money or bank details. If you have doubts about the authenticity of a message received from the NCA, please call 0370 496 7622.
- Remember, your bank (or any other official source) will not ask you to supply personal information over email.
- Suspicious emails should also be sent to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at email@example.com. Every report counts
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to us at online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
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