Watch out for this fear-mongering Brexit email scam


It's often the case that cybercriminals try to leverage big news stories to their own nefarious ends, and Brexit is no exception, with online scammers concocting ploys based on the UK's departure from the EU.

As ever, these are fear-driven scams and in the case of Brexit a phishing email is doing the rounds with a subject line that hints at some huge imminent economic or political disaster, in the hope that potential victims won't be able to resist the temptation to find out all the purported 'juicy details'.

As the Telegraph reports, one of the more commonly used subject lines is: 'Brexit causes historic market drop'.

The message contains either a link or an attachment claiming to clarify said disaster which is in store for us, but of course there aren't any 'juicy details', and all that happens is your device is infected with malware.

James Chappell, co-founder of security firm Digital Shadows, told the Telegraph: "We have certainly noted an increase in the use of Brexit-related topics in email to encourage users to click on content since [the] referendum."

Safety first

So be aware that these Brexit scam mails are prevalent right now. However, when dealing with any attachments and links in emails, you should always err on the side of caution – these things are best not clicked, particularly if the source or message seem at all suspicious (and fear-mongering is used in any way; one very common ploy is an 'urgent' unpaid bill or invoice).

Even if you do know the source of the message, remember that emails can be spoofed, so it's always worth double-checking with the sender as to whether they actually sent the email in question.

Phishing is definitely on the rise these days, and phishing emails are still the biggest danger you'll face online.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).