Fraudsters are spamming out fake British Gas utility bill emails that link to a virus that takes over victims computers.
Action Fraud has received hundreds of reports of these emails cleverly designed to look like a seamlessly harmless utility bill.Â
The emails entitled â€œYour summer gas & electricity billâ€ contain links that take people to a website where they are told to download a file in order to view their bill.Â
After downloading the file, the virus locks you out of your computer and then directs you to an online payment page.Â
We have also seen some variations with the subject line â€œNew gas & electricity billâ€ which include victimâ€™s full name within the email.
British Gas say that their emails will always be personalised and often quote your British Gas account number (where the email relates specifically to your account) and will only provide links back to the britishgas.co.uk website.Â
If you receive one of these emails do not click on any links. Instead, go to the British Gas website directly and log in from there.Â
Remember that fraudsters can â€œspoofâ€ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of any such attachment or link.
Additionally you should always update your Anti-Virus software and operating systems regularly.Â
If you have downloaded the virus, do not pay any money and get in contact with us to report and get advice on what to do next.Â
To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.