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FBI Alerts San Diego Residents About E-mail Scams

The San Diego Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued an alert for local inhabitants after complaints about Internet scams started pouring in to IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center).

Describing the mode of operation of the online fraud, IC3's security officials said that it involved hackers breaking into the e-mail account or social-networking web-page of a user. The hacker poses as user's friend and spam messages to the addresses on his contact list.

Telling false stories of being victims of robbers, the hackers state that they are stranded in a foreign country and urgently require cash as they have lost their money, passport, cell-phone and credit card.

Explaining the fraudsters' effort for the scam, Darrell Foxworth, Special FBI Agent, stated that the messages claimed that their sender had a very limited time for clearing a hotel invoice so needed the cash fast which they would reimburse on returning home, as reported by 10news on July 2, 2010.

Meanwhile, security researchers stated that as it was summer time and a season for traveling, San Diegans should be especially wary about the scam. People should properly assess any message coming to them from a relative or friend on their address book.

However, to stay safe from getting defrauded, an easy method is to talk to the e-mail's alleged sender over phone and know his real whereabouts prior to sending the money requested as the e-mail's recipient may feel lured towards helping a loved one trapped in difficulty.

If the scam has already victimized anyone, then he should visit the IC3 URL at www.IC3.gov and report the incident. The IC3 will refer the complaint to the appropriate agency for law enforcement. Moreover, the IC3 website's complaint section also provides information for identifying the patterns and trends of new attacks.

Finally, it can be said that Internet scams such as the "stranded" themed fraud inflict the Net and keep on reaping money for scammers. The FBI reports that the total loss from Internet scams during 2009 was estimated at nearly $560 Million, an amount over double that of 2008.

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

» SPAMfighter News - 7/15/2010

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