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Fake Scott Morrison emails used to scam Australians

The Scott Morrison scam email. (Image: Mailguard)

Have you recently received an "invitation" from Australian prime minister Scott Morrison?

As exciting as it might be, it's likely to be a scam trying to harvest your personal data.

Technology security company Mailguard discovered the malicious email with the subject "Here's your download" circulating on Wednesday afternoon.

"The emails use a display name of ‘Hon Scott Morrison MP’ and contain an email address using the ‘@pm.gov.au’ domain," said a Mailguard spokesperson.

"The body of the email contains an image of the PM, and includes a heading that says ‘Invitation from the Prime Minister of Australia’."

The body of the message contains a link to a supposed PDF file that is the invitation letter. But clicking on it takes the victim to a phishing site, where private information would be requested.

The email is an example of how psychologically sophisticated scammers are getting with fake emails, according to Mailguard.

"By sending an email impersonating such a senior official such as the prime minister himself, cybercriminals aim to evoke excitement and euphoria among recipients," said the Mailguard spokesperson.

"This email also attempts to intrigue. Telling the recipient that a new download and invitation has arrived creates a sense of curiosity. All these techniques motivate the recipient to click on the provided link right away, distracting them from hovering over the link in the email and looking out for any other errors."

The prime minister's photo and the sender's display name and apparent email address make it more difficult for the recipient to identify the email as fake.  

Mailguard recommended anyone receiving such a message delete it immediately without clicking on any links within it.

Morrison is the current and 30th prime minister of Australia, and has been the head of government since August 2018.

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