Through a statement on its website, the Norwegian Maritime Authority informs that it has recently been contacted by several companies who have received an email from what appears to be their Port State Control. The email is in English and contains information specific to the vessel, such as its IMO number. The sender is “firstname.lastname@example.org“, the acronym PSC standing for “Port State Control”. The e-mail contains an attachment with a form that the recipient is asked to fill out and return. If you are a captain or shipping agent representing a particular ship and yacht, have the presence of mind not to open the attachments, nor to forward the e-mail. Indeed, a professional in the maritime world knows that Port State Controls are almost always unannounced and that they are never alerted in advance through an email containing links or documents to be opened or filled out. When in doubt, it is imperative to check: – The official signature of the sender – To contact by phone or e-mail the competent maritime authorities of the port state. A brief visit to the Port Office or the Harbour Master’s Office (Port Police) will always be useful to begin to remove any doubt.
Norway is not an isolated case: A Spanish shipping agent was also the recipient of an attempted Port State Control scam ; the signature of which specified an address in Palma, and whose e-mail was still “email@example.com“. He released a screenshot of the message that requested sensitive documents by claiming that they had not been provided in a previous procedure. Vigilance is required and doubt is essential, especially when it comes to sending a crew list that contains confidential and personal data (last name, first name, date of birth, place of birth, passport, passport number, etc.).
How do I report a fraudulent email? If you have identified an email as being fraudulent, it is important to report it, whether or not you have fallen into the trap. Indeed, reporting a phishing scam allows to limit the number of victims and can help identify the cybercriminal behind the scam. To report a phishing email to the appropriate authorities, there are several alternatives. In all cases, make sure you keep the evidence and, in particular, the phishing message received. To effectively report, it is important to transmit as much information as possible.
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