Monaco’s Sûreté publique has issued a warning of a large-scale and alarming Internet scam in the Principality.
Emails have been sent out claiming to be from the Sûreté publique itself, informing recipients that they are ‘implicated’ in an ongoing enquiry.
“We would like to inform you that you are on the list of persons implicated. Please read this document and respond to us as soon as possible,” the message reads.
In its warning, the Sûreté publique said that this fraudulent email is an attempt at phishing, that is an attempt to steal information, including passwords.
The danger lies in clicking on the message attachment to open it.
Those who take this step – not advised – find a document concerning an investigation purportedly being carried out by Interpol. The recipient is warned that the investigation concerns a number of unsavoury offences, including child pornography, paedophilia, sexual exhibitionism, cyberpornography, and ‘cyberonanism’.
The attachment wants that failure to respond to the bogus summons will involve a further drastic step: “We will be required to forward your complete case/report to Assistant Attorney General Morgan Raymond who will forward it to the Criminal Court to issue a warrant for your arrest and immediate questioning.”
The Sûreté publique said on Thursday afternoon that a number of precautions should be taken. Do not reply to the sender… Do not open the attached document in PDF format. Recipients are invited to forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Government also underlined the fact that the Sûreté publique does not utilise email addresses in this way.
Email users should remain extremely vigilant.