Over 300 websites taken down in just two weeks as UK public report suspicious emails

Aside from phishing, scammers also offering bogus Coronavirus tests and face masks.

Over 300 websites taken down in just two weeks as UK public report suspicious emails

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which tasks itself with “helping to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online,” is making impressive inroads against scam websites.

Just two weeks ago it announced its new Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS), inviting members of the public to forward emails if they even had the smallest suspicion that they might be up to no good.

And the great British public, many of whom – lets be honest – haven’t got much else to do at the moment, responded impressively forwarding emails linking to bogus TV licensing pages, fake offers for Coronavirus tests and face masks, phoney HMRC refunds, and much more besides to [email protected].

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More than 160,000 suspect emails have been forwarded to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service since it was launched just over two weeks ago by the police and NCSC, and as a consequence over 300 websites have been shut down.

Commander Karen Baxter, the City of London Police’s National Lead Force for Fraud said:

“While the world is coming together to combat this global health crisis, criminals are intent on exploiting our unease, anxiety and vulnerabilities in these unprecedented times.

“The fact the public have taken the opportunity to fight back and show these criminals how unacceptable this is, is fantastic.

“Fraud is an incredibly underreported crime. The more the police know about fraud, and fraud attempts, the better chance they have of tracking down those responsible and bringing them to justice.”

So, right now it seems like reporting a phishing or scam email to [email protected] is a good use of your time, and can help protect other internet users.

It certainly sounds like a promising start, and a great resource to point the public towards considering the controversy Action Fraud found itself in last year.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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