The Western Australia Police banner, badge and logo are being used by scammers in a fake email requesting recipients to hand over PayPal details.
The WA Police Technology Crime Investigation Unit issued a warning to the public and said the email used WA Police signage to "lend some legitimacy to their scams".
"These emails claim collaboration exists between PayPal and Australian police to force victims to send these fraudsters money or face legal action by police," a statement from the WA Police reads. "These emails contain a large Western Australia Police banner, a WA Police badge and the WA Police website address (however clicking on this link will take you to the Metropolitan Police website for UK Police!!)."
In the email two WA Police officers are also pictured while the badge – which appears twice – is pixilated.
The WA Police warning explains the scam is targeting people trying to sell high value items online with the scammers acting as a buyer that cannot pay the item's delivery agent directly. The victim is asked to send a fee – in the range of $650 to $1200 – to an agent to organise for the item to be delivered.
They then say they will add this "fee" to the total amount in the victim's PayPal account.
"The victim then receives a notification email that purports to be from PayPal (they are nothing to do with PayPal) advising that the sale amount plus the amount to be paid to the delivery agent is being held for deposit into the victim’s account," the WA Police warning reads. "When the victim does not pay this fee they receive an email (containing WA Police signage) threatening legal action by Australian police."
The WA Police call on those that receive the email to delete it immediately.
More information can be found on the WA Police site.