February 9, 2018
The FBI has spent the past few months investigating reports of Internet Crime Complaint Center phishing scams. IC3 has been impersonated in several campaigns that attempt to convince people to reveal sensitive information that can be used to drain bank accounts and steal identities.
The FBI has recognized 3 electronic mail templates that are used by cheaters to get confidential info from sufferers. In some instances, sufferers have also had a malevolent program installed on their appliances as a consequence of opening electronic mail attachments.
It is not known when the Internet Crime Complaint Center phishing scams started, although complaints started to be received by the FBI in July 2017. Over the following months, many victims of the scams submitted complaints to the FBI via the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Among the electronic mails seemed to have been transmitted from IC3 declaring the receiver was qualified to get compensation as a sufferer of Internet offense. The electronic mails reference the anxiety of a Nigerian cheater in 2014 – with applicable linkages provided in the electronic mail. Electronic mail receivers are instructed that the case has now been settled, the cheater has been imprisoned, and his properties have been seized.
The email recipient is informed that FBI records show they have been a victim of one of the scams and are now eligible to receive restitution for the damages. The email recipient is told they must contact a European law firm who will pay damages immediately, with average restitution payments of £1,459,910 made to each victim. Urgency is added by supplying a date by which all claims must be received.
Other electronic mail patterns are also used which are variants on the same subject. In all instances, the purpose is to get the sufferer to disclose confidential information including fiscal details for the assumed transfer of finances.
The emails also contain a text file to download, complete, and return as part of the claims process. That file is infected with malware that is intended to further victimize email recipients.
Other Internet Crime Complaint Center phishing cheats have also been known that similarly mimic IC3. One such cheat claims the electronic mail receiver’s computer has been used to carry out several online offenses. The user informed to get in touch with the FBI by phone concerning the inquiry. Telephone number links the electronic mail receiver to the cheater, not the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The FBI has advised all individuals receiving emails such as these to report the scams to IC3.