Phishing e-mails and e-mails scams aren’t new. Unfortunately, they are getting even more sophisticated and successful. Why? Despite the growing awareness of phishing scams and computer viruses from e-mails that link to malware, scammers are becoming even better salesmen.
The first phishing scams that circulated were really just too good (or too bizarre) to be true for most readers. You remember the e-mail hoaxes that involved an African prince who wanted to share his great wealth with you if only… you would send your banking account numbers.
Art Manion, a top vulnerability analyst for CERT, a Carnegie Mellon University internet emergency response group, scammer’s tactics are just getting better. Manion says,
“Today, the e-mail looks like it’s from my bank or my company, with better grammar, more believable stories, and better URLs.”
The more recent and well-publicized e-mail phishing hoaxes involved Pay Pal, the Better Business Bureau and e-bay. Now the FBI is involved. The FBI isn’t just involved in investigating the e-mail hoax; the FBI name is being used to run the e-mail hoax.
What to Look for in the FBI Fraudulent E-Mails:
Remember that curiosity killed the cat and it can kill your computer too. Do not be tempted to open any of these e-mails or click on any links just “to see” if it is part of a hoax.
There are currently three new fraudulent e-mails circulating that involve the FBI name. The three known hoax e-mails headings are:
* One claims to be “Intelligence Bulletin No. 267” with a report titled “New Patterns in Al-Queda Financing”
* Another claims to be from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI Counterterrorism Division with the title “New Usama Bin Laden Speech Directed to the People of Europe”
* A third claims to contain an FBI Intelligence Bulletin from the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate titled “New DHS Report”
The fraudulent e-mails contain important looking “Handling Instructions” but like many e-mail scams, the messages contain spelling mistakes and grammar errors.
Important Information from the FBI about e-mails:
The FBI wants citizens to know that it does not send unsolicited e-mails or email official reports.
Do not click on any links associated with the above-mentioned e-mails. They are hoax that may contain viruses or malware.
Where can you file a complaint if you have been the victim of an internet crime?
If you have been a victim of Internet crime, you can file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.
Why should you report suspicious e-mails?
Never assume that officials already know and that you’re information isn’t important. Scammers constantly change up messages so each report is important.
Reporting scams can help to stop current hoaxes and protect others from becoming victims.
Reporting helps programmers improve and update security measures and security software to prevent future phishing attacks.
If you are targeted and unsuspectingly open a phishing e-mail remember these crucial internet safety rules:
Never give out your:
Social Security number
Maybe it happens in the movies, but you can be sure that the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security isn’t reaching out to you, at least no by e-mail. Don’t let curiosity make you a victim of internet fraud or identity theft