FBI warns of fake e-mail messages

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 21, 2008

Have you received a suspicious e-mail from FBI Director Robert Mueller or another FBI official? If so, it is a fake. The FBI and the Internet Crime Complaint Center reported seeing an increase in fraudulent schemes misrepresenting FBI agents, officials and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

The fraudulent e-mails give the appearance of legitimacy due to the usage of pictures of the FBI director, seal, letterhead or banners. The types of schemes utilizing the names of FBI agents, officials, or the director&8217;s name are typically lottery endorsements and inheritance notifications.

Other fraudulent schemes representing the FBI claim to be from domestic as well as overseas offices, the FBI says. The schemes cover a range from threat and extortion e-mails, Web site monitoring containing malicious computer program attachments and online auction scams.

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The social engineering technique of utilizing the FBI&8217;s name is to intimidate and convince the recipient the e-mail is legitimate.

The FBI does not send out e-mails soliciting personal information from citizens.

&8220;Please be cautious of any unsolicited e-mail referencing the FBI, FBI Director Mueller, or any other FBI official endorsing any type of Internet activity,&8221; the FBI said in a news release.

To receive the latest information about cyber scams please go to the FBI Website and sign up for e-mail alerts by clicking on one of the red envelopes. If you have received a scam e-mail please notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov. For more information on e-scams, please visit the FBI&8217;s &8220;New E-Scams and Warnings&8221; Web page.