News story

Home Office fraudulent email warning

Home Office warns the public of scam emails that include a virus.

We have been made aware of fraudulent emails purporting to come from the Home Office.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is warning the public to be wary of emails that appear to come from the Ministry of Justice or the Home Office because they may infect your computer with the TorrentLocker ransomware. The email – which does not come from any government department – contains a link or attachment which contains information about an upcoming “court case”.

If you click on the link or open the attachment, it downloads a virus onto your computer and encrypts all files on the machine or server it is attached to. Victims are then asked to pay a ransom, usually requested in Bitcoin in order to retrieve the files.

The Home Office does not send unsolicited emails and will not ask for personal information or passwords in an email. All links in emails from the Home Office will be to a government service on a .gov.uk domain and will use https.

Do not open attachments in emails you deem suspicious and do not reply to emails soliciting personal information.

Find out how to report internet scams and phishing.