FBI Warns Public About New IC3 Email Scam

Written by

The FBI-backed Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has warned that cyber-criminals posing as IC3 employees have been spotted defrauding the public online.

The internet scams arrive in the form of an unsolicited email purporting to come from the IC3, the complaints body said in an advisory.

“The e-mails state that a criminal report was filed on the victim’s name and social security number and legal papers are pending. Scammers impersonate an IC3 employee to increase credibility and use threats of legal action to create a sense of urgency,” it added.

“Victims are informed they have one to two days from the date of the complaint to contact the scammers. Failure to respond to the e-mail will result in an arrest warrant issued to the victim.”

If the victim does indeed contact the scammer, they are then instructed to buy prepaid money cards in order to avoid the legal action, IC3 said.

Some victims were apparently sent more information on their supposed ‘criminal charges’, including “violations of federal banking regulations, collateral check fraud, and theft deception.”

The IC3 urged any recipient of this scam email to “resist the pressure to act quickly” and never to wire money based on an email or telephone request, especially not abroad.

“The IC3 never charges the public for filing a complaint and will never threaten to have them arrested if they do not respond to an e-mail,” it added.

“Individuals who have fallen victim to this type of scam are encouraged to file a complaint with the IC3 at http://www.ic3.gov.”

The scam is well-timed, given that earlier this week the IC3 itself was in the news issuing a major warning to organizations of an “increase in computer network exploitation and disruption by disgruntled and/or former employees.”

This “significant threat” has already led to cyber incidents costing businesses up to $3 million, the warning noted.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?