Online Scammers Are Using Fake Power Bills To Encrypt Files, Demanding A Ransom To Unlock Them

A new email scam has the potential to lock files on your computer. Image: Getty/Joe Raedle

Power company EnergyAustralia has used a warning about a new email scam involving fake electricity or gas bills. The emails contain no customer names or account numbers.

The letter, addressed to ‘Dear Valued Customer’, contains a link to view ‘bill’ details, but instead downloads ‘ransomware’ known as Cryptolocker.

Cryptolocker encrypts files on a computer, and the scammers then demand payment for a ‘key’ to unencrypt files. Without the encryption key, it’s impossible to regain access to files.

This latest ransomware follows on from earlier versions which locked computers.

EnergyAustralia said people receiving the email should delete it immediately or report it to their customer service centre 133 466..

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