A trojan bearing hoax email is circulating that falsely claims to be from the New Zealand police. The email has the subject “Notification from Police New_Zealand” and warns recipients that they are “under suspicion of financial machination.” The message also requests that recipients provide personal information via email or fax.
A news release on the New Zealand Police website states:
Police are investigating the email which does contain a trojan virus. The virus will be filtered out so long as computers have anti-virus software on their machines.
Members of the public who are receiving the email with the subject line – “Notification from Police New_Zealand” – should simply delete it and do not need to contact Police about the matter.
The purpose of this hoax email is apparently to trick people into inadvertently installing a trojan on their computers and providing sensitive personal information to scammers. Victims who believe the message is genuine may be panicked into providing information in an effort to clear their names. In 2005, a similar tactic was used to distribute a variant of the Sober worm. The worm was carried via emails, supposedly from the FBI or the CIA, that claimed recipients had been logged visiting illegal websites.
It is extremely unlikely that any law enforcement agency anywhere in the world would request personal information from someone under investigation via an unsolicited email. Emails that make such requests should be treated with the utmost suspicion. If you receive such an email, do not open any attachments that arrive with the message, do not follow any links in the message and do not provide any personal information.
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!