Keep an eye out for bill emails that appear to come from Australian energy supplier Origin. The emails feature the Origin logo and colour scheme and are designed to emulate genuine Origin bill notification emails.
However, the emails are not from Origin. Instead, they are scams designed to trick recipients into clicking a link that downloads malware.
If you click the “View Bill” button, the malware will be downloaded to your computer.
To add to the illusion of legitimacy, secondary links in the fake bill open the genuine Origin website.
Rather bizarrely, the helpline number listed in the scam email belongs to an osteopathy provider located in NSW.
Origin Energy is warning Internet users about the malware attack via its website, noting:
Please be aware that we’ve had reports of customers and non-customers receiving fake Origin bills via email. If you believe you’ve received one of these emails, we strongly recommend not clicking on any links.
Origin has also published a report that explains how to tell a scam from a real Origin message.
Similar “Origin bill” malware messages were distributed in May 2017. And, scammers have used the names of other energy companies in almost identical fake bill malware attacks.
If you receive one of these bogus Origin bills, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.
An example of the malware email:
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!