E-mail Scam


I received the above email this morning.

It had me worried for a moment, but then I realised it must be some form of scam.

It purports to ben e-mail from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). But if you look at the e-mail address it came from (circled in red at the top) it becomes clear that the e-mail certainly didn’t come from the CPS. Their e-mail addresses would be in the form xxxx@cps.gsi.gov.uk  and they don’t send e-mails to the general public.

Further clues to the fact that this is not a genuine e-mail can be seen in the other outlined areas.

Something is either mandatory or it isn’t. No native English speaker would use the expression “extremely mandatory”.

The CPS would also almost certainly talk about a “witness summons” rather than a subpoena. Particularly given that the use of Latin phrases in the English (and Welsh) legal systems has been phased out.

County Courts generally only deal with civil matters which wouldn’t involve the CPS.

Both the domain of the sender’s e-mail address and the link that the “Start Time and Case Details” button refers to are registered to an individual who lives in Belarus. This person uses a Gmail address for their contact details.

Hardly likely to be an e-mail from a government department.

I’ve reported it to both the police and the CPS.

One of the advantages of using a laptop rather a smartphone for reading e-mail is that it’s easier to spot such scams.

For example, the dodgy e-mail address doesn’t appear on an iPhone. However it can easily be seen when using a mainstream e-mail programme (e.g. Outlook) on a laptop. Similarly the dodgy link can’t be seen on the smartphone but can be seen when using Outlook on a laptop. Just ‘hovering’ the cursor over the link shows what the web link actually is.