Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 15, 2008

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Internet Alert: Scammers Sending Fake FBI E-mails Seeking Personal Information

Have you received a suspicious e-mail from FBI Director Robert Mueller or another FBI official? If so, it is a fake. The FBI and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) have increasingly received reports of fraudulent schemes misrepresenting FBI agents, officials, and/or FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III. The fraudulent e-mails give the appearance of legitimacy due to the usage of pictures of the FBI Director, seal, letterhead, and/or banners. The types of schemes utilizing the names of FBI agents, officials, or the Director's name are typically lottery endorsements and inheritance notifications.

Other fraudulent schemes representing the FBI claim to be from our domestic as well as overseas offices. The schemes cover a range from threat and extortion e-mails, website monitoring containing malicious computer program attachments (malware), and online auction scams.

The social engineering technique of utilizing the FBI's name is to intimidate and convince the recipient the e-mail is legitimate.

The FBI does not send out e-mails soliciting personal information from citizens.

Please be cautious of any unsolicited e-mail referencing the FBI, FBI Director Mueller, or any other FBI official endorsing any type of Internet activity.

To receive the latest information about cyber scams please go to the FBI website and sign up for e-mail alerts by clicking on one of the red envelopes. If you have received a scam e-mail please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov. For more information on e-scams, please visit the FBI's New E-Scams and Warnings webpage.

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