TENS of thousands of Australians have been targeted by a hoax Origin Energy email loaded with dangerous malware.
The deceptive email, titled “Your Origin electricity bill”, has a due date of May 16 and encourages users to click to view their statement.
The amount due has been reported to vary between emails.
The scam email originates from a fake domain — originenergysolar.net — registered in China just days ago. It was sent from servers located in France.
Origin issued a statement over social media on Wednesday warning of an email scam targeting customers.
There’s a current email scam claiming to contain an Origin bill. How to tell a scam email from a real Origin message https://t.co/2RGZv6URk6
— Origin (@originenergy) May 10, 2017
The company listed several ways to help customers tell the difference between a real email and a fake.
“When we contact you about an outstanding payment, we let you choose the payment option that suits you. We’ll never ask you to make a money transfer or put money straight into a bank account.
“You can find a list of our payment methods on every bill from us and on our website.
“We only contact you about an overdue bill when we’ve already sent you the bill, and an overdue notice, by mail or email. We may have sent it a while ago, so you may not have it to hand.
“If you get an email that seems to be from Origin, but you’re unsure about it, close it and call us.”
An Origin spokesperson said the company was finding the scams were becoming more sophisticated and the company was “now one of many companies that have been subject to an online phishing campaign”.
“We’re doing what we can to inform our customers and communities about how to spot fake bills, and what to do if they’ve received one. We’re asking customers to consider when they last paid their account and to look closely at the sender, contact details and any links contained in the email,” he said.
“If these don’t seem right, customers should not click any links, and instead delete the email and report it to the ACCCs Scamwatch service.
“Origin customers can always ring us or login to their account to verify their billing status.”