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Faux FBI email fishes for fake fines

The virus is designed to extort money from its victims. An email purportedly from the FBI contains a web link that, once clicked and opened, downloads and installs a virus on the user’s computer. The virus immediately locks the computer and displays a screen stating there has been a violation of federal law and that the user’s IP address was identified by the FBI for viewing child pornography and other illegal content.

The message then demands money through a prepaid money card service as a “fine” to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Our office has received complaints from consumers who we believe have been victimized by this malicious email scam,” said Attorney General George Jepsen. “It’s important for consumers to be informed and to exercise caution to protect themselves from scams like this. Never click on a link or open an email attachment from someone you do not know and trust. I would urge any Connecticut resident who receives this email to report it immediately.”

In addition to the message seeking to extort payment, the virus may continue to operate on the computer and could be used to commit online banking and credit card fraud, Jepsen warned.

“Computer crime is a serious, ongoing concern, and it’s critically important that consumers remain vigilant to protect the information stored on their personal computers,” Connecticut State Commissioner William Rubenstein said. “Install appropriate protections, keep them up to date and communicate with family members to be sure that everyone understands and practices safe online behavior.”

The FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center have set up the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) for victims to lodge complaints. Jepson said that Assistant Attorneys General Sandra Arenas and Phillip Rosario, head of the Consumer Protection Department, are assisting the department in the matter.

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