Serious Fraud Office Imitation Scam

Scam Alert

Serious Fraud Office Imitation Scam

Serious Fraud Office Imitation Scam 300 233 SOS Team

Serious Fraud Office Imitation Scam.

We recently received a communication via the Contact Page on the SOS website from a person posing as an investigator from the Serious Fraud Office division of the UK Police. The lady said that she wanted her team to have a meeting with SOS to discuss our investigations. The email chain is copied below. We have communicated with the SFO in the past so we immediately saw something was not quite right about this contact. This lady’s email address was a sophisticated fake, but we are publishing this article because it shows how clever and sophisticated scammers can be. We believe most members of the public would have been taken in by an email like this. The domain name is actually used by the Serious Fraud Office.

On Wednesday, October 4th,2023, Safe Or Scam wrote:

Hi [NAME], Thank you for your enquiry via our Contact Page. We’ll be happy to talk with you. Please can you email back with your contact details. Is it any case in particular the SFO is interested in or is it just a general enquiry ?

On Thursday, October 5th, 2023, [email protected] wrote:

Good Afternoon,

Thanks for your email. We would like to make a general enquiry with you about matters that may have been brought to your attention through Safe or Scam. Would you be willing to meet remotely via MS Teams to discuss this? I work in a small and highly experienced unit within the SFO which is responsible for engaging with people who wish to supply information confidentially. Please let me know if you would be happy for our team to know your identity or whether you would prefer to remain anonymous.

Kind regards,

NAME, Senior Intelligence Officer, Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

 On Thursday, October 5th 2023, Safe Or Scam wrote:


We have provided information to the SFO intelligence team in the past so we are known to you. Please provide evidence of your identity and involvement with the SFO so that we can check you out with our contacts.

Many thanks,

On Thursday, October 5th, 2023 [email protected] wrote:

Good Afternoon,

No problem at all, please feel free to verify with your contacts and/or via the SFO switchboard – +44 (0)20 7239 7272 Contact us – Serious Fraud Office ( . I work for a team within the Intelligence Division called SMU.

Many thanks,

NAME, Senior Intelligence Officer, Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

On Friday, October 6th, 2023 Safe Or Scam wrote:

Dear [NAME],

If you set up the teams meeting we will arrange for some investigators to attend. Please send the invite to [SOS investigations email] where it will be picked up by the right people. Do you want any of our overseas investigators to attend ? Most of the cases they investigate have a UK connection i.e they are either UK scams sold in their jurisdictions or they are local scams which are run by British citizens living abroad.


On Wednesday October 11th, 2023 [email protected] wrote:

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your email. Would it be possible to speak with just one UK based investigator in the first instance? Please let me know if week commencing 23 October would be convenient and I will send over a Teams invite.

Many thanks,

We could play along for a while longer and waste a bit of their time, but we’re just too busy and ultimately we decided it was more important to publish this article. We have reported this to the genuine Serious Fraud Office, but they are unlikely to do anything because one officer told us that falsifying Police email addresses is now becoming commonplace by scammers.

We knew it was a scam from the start for a number of reasons.

  1. the communication we received was only the first name of the lady and a single letter for the surname. People who work for the Serious Fraud Office do not hide their surnames;
  2. the SFO have never contacted SOS in the past “on general matters”. We have always been contacted on specific cases where they have seen an article and are interested to know how we came by the information and whether we have any additional information which we are holding back for publication later;
  3. there is already an established route for people who want to provide information on a confidential basis so there was no need to suggest she could set one up for us;
  4. the people involved in SOS are already known to the SFO so if she was genuine she would have been able to look us up.

The interesting thing is that this was a sophisticated scam because the lady was using a genuine SFO domain name to mask her real email address. The email address of is one that the SFO uses. This scammer was using software which hides the real email address behind somebody else’s genuine domain name. That kind of sophistication is not used by your run-of-the-mill scammer.

We contacted someone we know at the SFO. He confirmed that no person with that lady’s first name is employed by them.

Serious Fraud Office Imitation Scam.


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