This email, which appears to have been sent by large Australian energy company AGL, supposedly contains your latest electricity bill in an attached file. The email contains the amount of the supposed bill – which may be higher than you would expect – along with a due date.
However, the email is not from AGL and the attachment does not contain an electricity bill as claimed. In fact, the attached .zip file contains a malicious .exe file. If you open the .zip file and then click the .exe file when using a Microsoft Windows based computer, malware may be installed. Once installed, the malware may download further malware, steal sensitive information such as banking passwords from the infected computer, and allow criminals to take control of the computer from afar.
More and more companies are now using email to deliver bills to customers, so the bogus bill ploy has become a more common way to distribute malware. Customers who regularly receive their bills via email may be tricked into opening the attachment without due caution, especially if the bill amount is higher than expected.
If you receive bills via email, always ensure that the bill really was sent by the company before you open any attachments.
Last updated: February 26, 2016
First published: February 26, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!