Public Service Announcement

Prepared by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

January 4, 2008
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An Increase in Internet Schemes Purportedly From the FBI

The IC3 has increasingly received intelligence 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 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.

The FBI does not send out emails soliciting information from citizens.

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.

If you have experienced this situation please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.IC3.gov.