Virus Warning: E-Mail from ‘FBI Alert’ Not Really from FBI
|FBI Jackson February 06, 2013|
The FBI does not send unsolicited e-mail.
Recently, some Mississippi residents have received an alarming e-mail, supposedly containing an “FBI Alert” about someone with whom they have communicated online. This e-mail requests that recipients contact the “FBI secret service” by following a link provided in the e-mail.
Be warned: the e-mail is not from the FBI, and if you click on the embedded link, you run the risk of infecting your computer with a malicious virus.
Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi, states, “These e-mails do not come from the FBI. Recipients of this or similar e-mails should know that the FBI does not send unsolicited e-mails to the public.”
The following is the actual message:
From: FBI ALERT <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: February 2, 2013, 5:47:06 p.m. CST
Reply-To: FBI ALERT <email@example.com>
We have an information for you regarding the person you are transacting with online. You need to see this yourself. Contact us immediately for this is very important to you. Keep it to yourself and contact us, get back to us immediately. There is something you need to know about this person or you might end up loosing everything you ever worked for. Stop e-mailing until you hear from us. Contact FBI secret service with the e-mail below firstname.lastname@example.org FBI secret service.
There are many preventative measures you can take to minimize the risk of exposing your computer to a virus.
1. Be suspicious of any unsolicited e-mail.
2. Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
3. Log directly onto an official website for the entity identified in the e-mail, instead of “linking” to one from an unsolicited e-mail.
4. Contact the actual entity that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if the e-mail is legitimate.
5. Be watchful of spelling errors, grammar problems, or inconsistent information. These could be signs that the sender is fraudulent (not who they say they are).
Opening e-mail from an unknown sender, especially those using the names of well-known entities to catch your attention, is risky. Links embedded in such e-mails frequently lead to viruses which can infect the recipient’s computer.
In order to address Internet threats, including scam or fraudulent e-mails, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, was established in 2000.
“The IC3 serves as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer Internet crime complaints,” said SAC McMullen. “If you have received an e-mail of this nature, or any scam e-mail, we encourage you to notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov.”