Government warns of fraudulent email campaign

The Department of Justice has issued a warning about fraudulent spam e-mail messages claiming to be from DOJ.

Based upon complaints from the public, the DOJ says the fraudulent messages are addressed "Dear Citizen."

"The messages are believed to assert that the recipients or their businesses have been the subject of complaints filed with DOJ and also forwarded to the Internal Revenue Service.

In addition, such email messages may provide a case number, and state that the complaint was "filled [sic] by Mr. Henry Stewart." A DOJ logo may appear at the top of the email message or in an attached file."

"Finally, the message may include an attachment that supposedly contains a copy of the complaint and contact information for Mr. Stewart."

The DOJ is urging users not to respond to any message fitting that description as they are a hoax, it said in a release.

The DOJ says similar hoaxes have been recently perpetrated in the names of various governmental entities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service.

Email users should be especially wary of unsolicited warning messages that purport to come from U.S. governmental agencies directing them to click on file attachments or to provide sensitive personal information.

The DOJ says that if you see any of these messages you should file a complaint at

Within the complaint, please list "DOJ Spoof Email" in the "Business Name" field of the complaint, where complainants are directed to place the name of the business which has victimized them, as this will allow the IC3 to easily retrieve and process these complaints. The email hoax note follows news that the DOJ and FBI recently said ongoing investigations have identified more than 1 million botnet crime victims.

The FBI is working with industry partners, including the Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University, to notify the victim owners of the computers.

Microsoft and the Botnet Task Force have also helped out the FBI. Through this process the FBI may uncover additional incidents in which botnets have been used to facilitate other criminal activity, the FBI said in a statement.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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