A hoax email has been discovered that claims to be from the federal police, in what authorities believe is the first time a spam site has claimed to come from a law enforcement agency.
The Australian High Tech Crime Centre (AHTCC) has issued a warning about the hoax, advising users to delete the emails and not click on the links to the two websites.
Nigel Phair, acting director at the AHTCC, told iTnews that it wasn't targeted at the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in particular.
"[It's] just another way people behind scams are targeting a different kind of audience to try and gain legitimacy," Phair said.
The AHTCC is investigating the hoax email, and Phair said that this would include using the Australian Federal Police international liaison network.
While Phair could not confirm whether the hoax had been Australian based or not, he added "I would suggest it's based overseas".
According to a statement from the AFP, the hoax email asked if the recipient was aware they are being investigated by the police. "It asks, 'is that true? Have you really committed such crimes?', encouraging the user to click on two links for further details," the statement said. The AHTCC has not seen a spam site before which claims to be from a law enforcement agency, it stated.
The AFP has warned users that if they click on the link their keystrokes might be traced. This could enable the sender to record privileged information, such as online bank passwords and logon IDs, according to the statement.