Cybersecurity

UK authorities warn of Queen Elizabeth II funeral phishing attempts

The National Cyber Security Centre warned mourners to be wary of scam tickets and bogus travel deals.
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· 3 min read

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That email from King Charles asking you for a bank account to store $500 million in until after his coronation is (probably) fake. Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a warning to be on the lookout for phishing attempts.

In a bulletin on Sept. 13, the NCSC cautioned, “there may be an increase in phishing emails and other scams” in the period following the queen’s death up until her state funeral on Sept. 19.

Specifically, NCSC said that mourners should be aware that anyone claiming to sell tickets to see the queen lying in state should be ignored, as it is free and open to the public. (Instead, the price of entry is waiting in a miles-long queue stretching throughout parts of London.) The NCSC, which is part of the GCHQ, appears to have issued the warning out of an abundance of caution: It wrote in the bulletin that it “has not yet seen extensive evidence” of such scams.

ComputerWeekly noted that other likely targets of scammers include those traveling to London to pay their respects to the late monarch. Planes and trains to England are already overburdened with travelers, while some flights have been “disrupted to ensure there is silence in central London during the procession.” Hotels are also expected to be sold out or close to it. Anyone hoping to get close to any official events should anticipate delays due to heavy security. All this creates an environment ripe for scammers to prey on those looking for scarce travel and accommodation deals.

Beware of offers of tickets to the state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday. Attendance is limited to roughly 2,000 dignitaries, other VIPs, and their entourages, and it seems unlikely any of them will scalp their invites.


Bleeping Computer reported that some threat actors tried to steal Microsoft account credentials with phishing emails that asked recipients to add their names to an “interactive AI memory board in honor of Her Majesty Elizabeth II.” According to Kim Komando, cryptocurrency scams related to Queen Elizabeth’s death are also popping up—though sympathy may be in short supply for anyone hoping to get rich off suspicious tokens with names like “Queen Elizabeth Inu, God Save the Queen, Queen, QueenDoge, London Bridge is Down and Rip Queen Elizabeth.”—TM

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Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to software development and gaming. Our IT Brew newsletter delivers the latest news and analysis of trends shaping the IT industry, like only The Brew can.