Internet Crime Complaint Center issues FBI fraud warning

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) today issued a warning that it has receieved reports of fraudulent schemes misrepresenting FBI agents, officials and/or 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, and/or banners. The types of schemes utilizing the names of FBI agents, officials, or the Director’s name are typically lottery endorsements and inheritance notifications.Other fraudulent schemes representing the FBI claim to be from our domestic as well as overseas offices, the group stated.

The schemes cover a range from threat and extortion e-mails, Web site monitoring containing malicious computer program attachments (malware), and online auction scams.The social engineering technique of utilizing the FBI’s name is to intimidate and convince the recipient the e-mail is legitimate if it weren’t for the fact that the FBI does not send out emails soliciting information from citizens.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

There have been upticks in other fraud or phishing schemes as well using Regions Financial and the Coca-Cola Company as bait.  The company issued the following statement on its Web site in response to the scam: “The Coca-Cola Company is in no way associated with these e-mails.  Do not reply to these e-mails or letters with any information.”

Some observers think 2008 is going to be  nasty year for security-related problems.  Look for a rising number of compromised Web sites that quietly attack unsuspecting visitors, “parasitic” malware that eats desktop files, and a stream of exploits targeting high-profile events such as the 2008 Olympics and the U.S. presidential elections, experts warn. 

Layer 8 in a box

Check out these related security stories:

FBI issues pair of email scam warnings 

FBI ‘Bot Roast II: 1 million infected PCs, $20 million in losses and 8 indictments

FTC says 8.3 million hit with identity theft

GAO rips airline security, says it easily got bomb making materials past TSA screeners

IBM software attacks critical application security issues

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