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FBI Warns about E-mails Masquerading Lottery Win

Consumers are being cheated by spam mails allegedly originating from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). FBI informed that the spam mails had used the lottery method to attack consumers.

The reports received from FBI revealed that the spam mails circulating on the web inform users that they have won $800,000 in lottery and direct them to send $500 via Western Union wire transfer to get their winning amount.

Statesville Police Department Chief, Tom Anderson, said that this mail, like the earlier ones, is a scam. He also claims that no authentic lottery winner would be asked to give money and the FBI does not deal with the disbursement of the lottery amount, as reported by hickoryrecord on January 14, 2009.

Like other scams, this lottery scam is typical as it uses the letterhead of FBI. The legitimate FBI letterhead makes some people believe that the e-mail is authentic, but it is fake and bogus. FBI further said that these are social engineering methods used by hackers to attract innocent users.

In addition, FBI suggests that all users should be careful when replying to special offers and schemes being sent by unsolicited mails. The agency also added that the users should not open any unfamiliar mails or click on any link as they may carry viruses or malware. Revealing personally identifiable information (PII) can lead to hacking of the user's identity, said FBI.

To stop further loss of user's PII and to minimize the spread of this social engineering method, it is important that companies should use updated versions of antivirus software. The security agency also directs users to protect their private details along with financial information while dealing with unsolicited mails.

Further, the agency has asked users who received these e-mails to file an official complaint at Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) site - www.IC3.gov. Users can also contact the helpline numbers to make complain of such unsolicited e-mails without revealing their name and identity.

Related article: FBI’s ICCC Annual Report Discusses Fraudulent and Non-Fraudulent Complaints

» SPAMfighter News - 1/29/2009

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