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A new email scam threatens recipients with paedophilia court charges | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp

The police have issued a warning over a new scam circulating via email – a fake court summons signed by former police chief Lawrence Cutajar over supposed criminal offences related to paedophilia and child abuse. 

The email comes with an attachment which, when opened, is a letter purportedly written on the instructions of Cutajar.

Cutajar had resigned in January 2020 after coming under fire for his failure to investigate allegations of corruption.

The scam court summons has the crests of the Malta police force, Interpol and the official government logo.

“I am contacting you shortly after a cyber-infiltration computer sweep (permitted specifically related to child pornography, pornographic website, cyber pornography) to inform you that you are the subject of several applicable criminal proceedings,” the letter states.

It asks recipients to send their justification by email within 72 hours so they can be examined and verified.

The letter also states that a report will be filed with Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti, who is described as the “Head of Justice at the Court of Malta”, so he can draft an arrest warrant and forward it to the “brigade” nearest the recipient’s home.

The person advised will be reported to child protection services and media “so that everyone knows what you are doing for [with] your device”.

A spokesperson for the police said the email was clearly spam and warned people not to respond to the requests if they should receive it. The return email appears to be based in France.

Last month, the police advised against another scam, this time involving phone calls impersonating the police and Identity Malta officials.

Scammers asked phone recipients for their personal information, such as e-id login details and bank card details.

The police and Identity Malta warned that the calls appeared to be sourced from local phone numbers. The scammers used pre-recorded messages or regular phone calls. 

Other calls, claiming to be from the police, were alleging that the receiver was being linked to financial crimes. 

Phishing scams often lure victims by impersonating established institutions or companies, creating a false sense of trust. 

A year ago, another scam came in the form of a pre-recorded call claiming to be from the police saying that an arrest warrant has been issued in the recipient’s name.

In August last year, messages in Maltese purporting to be from the Law Enforcement System Agency included a link claiming to be to a court case involving the recipient.

In December, an SMS message pretending to be from Malta Post did the rounds, defrauding victims of more than €10,000 in total.

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National Cyber Security