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FBI Alerts New Change To Earlier Phishing Scam

A new phishing scam is playing around ransom extortion threats, warns FBI to Internet users. Initially, the e-mails were distributed in December that tried to extort personal information arriving from a hit man demanding ransom fee from recipients, or be killed.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) Alert posted on December 7, 2006 has a new turn. The alert related to e-mails, which said that the sender has been hired to slay the recipient but would not oblige the order if the recipient pays a fee amounting to thousands of dollars. Now e-mails are appearing, which assert to be originating from London's Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to an advisory on FBI website.

The previous scam sent out e-mail informing the recipient that the so-called hit man had been paid by their friends to kill him, but the hit man would not obey the order if he got a specified payment from the recipients. The bogus e-mails asked for early response along with the users' telephone numbers.

Under the new phishing scam, the e-mail tries to convince the recipients that it was dispatched from the FBI in London. This e-mail too seeks personal information, noting that recently there was an arrest of a person connected with murders of several residents of U.S. and U.K. The e-mail further says the arrested individual knew about the e-mail recipient, who would be the next target. The e-mail also requests the recipient to get in touch with the FBI in London to help in the investigation.

The advisory adds that it is not unusual for an Internet scam to aim with similar purpose but be different with regard to the e-mail content such as have different e-mail ids, names, and/or agencies involved in it.

FBI officials have called this second round of e-mails, bogus and asked the users to ignore them but not if they contain information that identifies someone personally. Since these e-mails have a threat of violence, the IC3 encourages the recipient to contact the police if it contains any personally identifiable information that distinguishes it from the normal spam mail, the advisory says in the end.

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

» SPAMfighter News - 1/17/2007

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