Scam email flagging service notches up a million reports in two months

25 June 2020, 00:04

A woman using a laptop
Laptop stock. Picture: PA

The National Cyber Security Centre thanked the public as it revealed that thousands of suspicious websites have been taken down.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has thanked the public as it revealed that thousands of scam websites have been taken down after being flagged to its Suspicious Email Reporting Service.

Launched only two months ago, the NCSC said the service has already surpassed one million reports from users.

The scheme involves an email address – report@phishing.gov.uk – to which members of the public can quickly forward any emails they feel are potentially scams for analysis by security experts.

Since it went live, more than 10,200 malicious web links connecting with 3,485 individual websites have been removed.

The NCSC said more than half of the suspicious links related to cryptocurrency scams – with those targeted often being promised large financial returns in exchange for investing in a currency.

NCSC chief executive Ciaran Martin said: “Reaching the milestone of one million suspicious emails reported is a fantastic achievement and testament to the vigilance of the British public.

“The kind of scams we’ve blocked could have caused very real harm and I would like to thank everyone who has played their part in helping make the internet safer for all of us.

“While it’s right that we should celebrate reaching this milestone, it is important for all of us to remain on our guard and forward any emails that don’t look right to report@phishing.gov.uk.”

The service, which was developed alongside City of London Police and launched as part of the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign, came as cyber security experts warned of an increase in scammers using fear around the coronavirus outbreak to target people.

The NCSC said the scheme has also removed fake online shops and other sites pretending to be organisations such as TV Licensing, HMRC, Gov.uk and the DVLA.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We are committed to making the UK the safest place to be online and are working tirelessly to defeat cyber criminals.

“I urge everyone to continue reporting suspicious emails and follow our Cyber Aware campaign top tips for staying secure online alongside our world-leading National Cyber Security Centre advice.”

By Press Association

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