Monday, November 02, 2009

Tip of the Week: Avoiding Email Scams

It's been a few weeks since I've done a Tip of the Week feature.  We're developing a television pilot at work and that has kept me insanely busy.  Regardless, I want to get back to this.

My tip this week comes to us from our friends at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who have a warning about a new round of spam attacks.  As with previous spam attacks, which have included the names of high-ranking FBI executives and names of various government agencies, a new version misuses the name of the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder.

The current spam alleges that the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were informed the e-mail recipient is allegedly involved in money laundering and terrorist-related activities. To avoid legal prosecution, the recipient must obtain a certificate from the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman at a cost of $370. The spam provides the name of the EFCC Chairman and an e-mail address from which the recipient can obtain the required certificate.

DO NOT RESPOND. THESE E-MAILS ARE A HOAX.

Government agencies do not send unsolicited e-mails of this nature. The FBI, Department of Justice, and other United States government executives are briefed on numerous investigations, but do not personally contact consumers regarding such matters. In addition, United States government agencies use the legal process to contact individuals. These agencies do not send threatening letters/e-mails to consumers demanding payments for Internet crimes.

Consumers should not respond to any unsolicited e-mails or click on any embedded links associated with such e-mails, as they may contain viruses or malware.

It is imperative consumers guard their personally identifiable information. Providing your information to these spammers will compromise your identity!  If you have been a victim of Internet crime, please file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.
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