FBI Warns Public of E-mail Scams
The FBI warned the public against three separate Internet scams that continue
to flourish through spam e-mails. The warning comes after the FBI's Internet
Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received a rising number of complaints from citizens
over the past few weeks.
In one scam, an e-mail recipient receives an electronic greeting card containing
malware (malicious software). The cards, which are also referred to as e-cards
or postcards, are being sent via spam. Like many other Internet fraud schemes,
the perpetrators use social engineering tactics to entice the victim, claiming
the card is from a family member or friend. Although there have been variations
in the spam message and attached malware, generally the spam directs the recipient
to click the link provided in the email to view their e-card. Upon clicking
the link, the recipient is unknowingly taken to a malicious web page.
In another scam, fraudulent e-mails misrepresent the FBI and/or Director Robert
S. Mueller III and give the appearance of legitimacy due to the usage of pictures
of the FBI Director, seal, letter head, and/or banners. The types of schemes
utilizing the Director's name and/or FBI are lottery endorsements and inheritance
The third is spam e-mail which claim to be from an official of the U.S. military
sent on behalf of American soldiers stationed overseas. The scam e-mails vary
in content; however, the general theme of each is to request personal information
and/or funds from the individual receiving the e-mail.
These spam e-mail messages are hoaxes and should be immediately deleted. Consumers
need to be wary of unsolicited e-mails that request them to take any action
even if that means just clicking on an attachment. It is possible that by "double-clicking"
on attachments to these messages, recipients will cause malicious software —
e.g., viruses, keystroke loggers, or other Trojan horse programs—to be
launched on their computers.
For further information on computer safety tips please visit the FBI
website and the IC3 website.
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