Pembrokeshire Trading Standards has issued a warning over an email currently circulating purporting to be from the “HM Courts and Tribunal Service” and stating the recipient is to pay a fixed penalty fine of £25 for using a vehicle in the “United Kingdom”.
No dates or vehicle details are supplied and the email asks recipients to click on a link to pay. It claims if payment is not received, the fine will increase to £100.
Sandra McSparron from Trading Standards said: “This email is typical of phishing emails where criminals encourage you to click on a link and give away personal or financial information.
“They often include threats of increasing fines to make you panic and respond quickly. Spotting such emails is becoming increasingly difficult as they can look very professional.”
She said that clues to watch out for include checking the “from” address, which may not look genuine; poor spelling and grammar, and the fact that the details of the alleged offence are not provided.
Mrs McSparron explained: “Anyone who has received such an email should not respond or click on a link or open any attachments as this may install malware or lead you to a fake website.
“Instead, please forward the email to the suspicious email reporting service at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“If you have already responded, please contact your bank as soon as possible.”
· For advice on how to deal with scams contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 (for English speakers) or 0808 223 1144 (for Welsh speakers).