Email scam targets ACT Office of Fair Trading

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Email scam targets ACT Office of Fair Trading

Hoax email that claims to originate from the ACT Office of Fair Trading targets recipients for identity theft.

The ACCC, ACMA and the ACT Office of Fair Trading have warned that a virus-laden email purporting to be from the 'Australian Office of Fair Trading' should be immediately deleted as it contains a virus designed to extract personal information from the recipient.

The ACT Office of Fair Trading said it has so far received a total of 175 inquiries about the suspect email. Its sister departments have also received a significant number of inquiries from around the country.

The email, which appears to be sent from, mimics those used by the ACT Office of Fair Trading.

The body of the email informs recipients that their complaint has been recorded and they should make a hard copy record by printing out the attached document.

But ACT Commissioner for Fair Trading, Brett Phillips, has warned that the attachment contains a potentially damaging virus designed to capture personal information for use in identity theft or identity fraud activity.

A reference in the email to the 'Australian Office of Fair Trading' red flagged the email as a scam as no such department exists.

Sophos has identified the virus as 'Mal/RtfExe-A', malware which compromises the target system and then downloads additional files.

“The people who have received the email are not on any Fair Trading databases or records,” Phillips said. “This indicates that the distribution list has been harvested in some other way, and it also reassures me that our computer records have not been hacked and that a security breach of our system has not occurred.

Phillips added that the ACT Government Security team has located the original source of the scam and are currently talking with communication and law enforcement agencies about the appropriate course of action.

The ACCC, ACMA and the ACT Office of Fair Trading advise recipients to immediately delete the suspect email and to contact their Internet Service Provider or other source of technical support if they have opened the attachment.

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