Fake police summons, 2
The following is an e-mail I received recently, purporting to be a summons to contact a police office. It is similar to this example in several respects.
No need to make a detailed analysis. Just note that Dr. Sarah Benson, the purported Australian Federal Police Chief Forensic Scientist, is using the Gmail address email@example.com for official business. How credible is that?
The fake police summons, delivered as a PDF attachment:
The OCR text of the fake summons, to make it indexable by web spiders:
AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE
And the text of the e-mail:
From: Federalpolice director <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In most cases your Gmail server will correctly identify this e-mail as spam, and you will only see the e-mail if you open your Spam folder. The Gmail website will also block you from downloading the PDF attachment.
Gmail addresses cost nothing, and anyone can anonymously register an address in minutes. They are "burner" addresses used once and then abandoned, regardless of whether Gmail shuts them down. Once the spammers/fraudsters have used them for a round of spam, these addresses end up on lists of banned addresses even if the accounts are still open, so the spammers prefer to create new addresses for their next rounds of spam. There are also limits of 500 e-mail recipients per e-mail and 500 sent e-mails per day sent from one address, which means the spammers need multiple fresh addresses for each round of spam
If you ask me, these limits are far too generous for a free e-mail account, so I would strongly encourage Gmail to substantially lower them to something like 50 total recipients per day, and to make bulk amounts of sent e-mails available only to paid accounts non-refundable if closed for violation of the rules.
Needless to say, simply ignore these fake summons. Do not reply to this e-mail, since these fraudsters are not targeting you personally, have no evidence against you, and don't have a clue what you are downloading or not downloading from the Internet. They are simply using a list of thousands of e-mail addresses trawled from the Web, hoping to entrap a few simpletons ready to believe anything they are told and easily scammed out of their hard-earned cash. If you really feel strongly about it, report this extortion attempt to your local police. However, be aware that, although impersonating a police authority seems a serious enough offence, your local police has more important things to do than chase a rabble of Nigerian wannabe fraudsters who are sending spam via a Mexican Gmail relay server.
Your primary line of defense against Internet fraud is you. Make yourself less vulnerable by learning the tell-tale signs to distinguish legitimate e-mail from spam and fraud. It is not that difficult.