Action Fraud and Nottinghamshire Police are highlighting a current trend of fraudsters sending emails with fake British Gas utility bills that link to malware that take over your computer.
Hundreds of reports of emails cleverly-designed to look like customers’ utility bills have been received nationwide containing links to websites where they are told to download a file to view their bill.
After downloading the file, the virus locks victims out of their computers and re-directs to an payment website to unlock your computer.
British Gas say that their emails will always be personalised with the customer’s name and will often quote your British Gas account number where the email relates specifically to your account and will only provide links back to the website.
You should also visit www.britishgas.co.uk directly and log in from there to check utility bills. Do not use the link provided in emails.
Having up-to-date virus protection is essential although even that may not protect your computer from becoming infected.
Please follow the tips in the ‘Protect yourself online’ crime prevention guide to help protect yourself online.
If you have been affected by this or any other scam, please report this to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or by visiting the Action Fraud website.