FBI Issues Notice About Internet Crime Complaint Center Phishing Cheats

Feb 8, 2018


The FBI has devoted the past few months scrutinizing reports of Internet Crime Complaint Center phishing cheats. IC3 has been personated in numerous campaigns that try to persuade people to disclose confidential information that can be used to drain bank accounts and steal identities.

The FBI has identified three electronic mail patterns that are being used by scammers to get confidential information 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’s not known when the Internet Crime Complaint Center phishing cheats began, although complaints began to be received by the FBI in July 2017. Over the subsequent months, several sufferers of the cheats submitted grievances to the FBI through the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Among the electronic mails seemed to have been sent from IC3 claiming the receiver was entitled to receive compensation as a sufferer of Internet crime. The electronic mails reference the apprehension of a Nigerian scammer in 2014 – with appropriate links provided in the electronic mail. Electronic mail receivers are informed that the case has now been closed, the scammer has been imprisoned, and his assets have been seized.

The electronic mail receiver is informed that FBI records demonstrate they have been a sufferer of one of the cheats and are now entitled to get compensation for the damages. The electronic mail receiver is informed they should get in touch with a European law company who will pay damages instantly, with average compensation payments of £1,459,910 made to each sufferer. Urgency is added by providing a date by which all entitlements should be received.

Other electronic mail patterns are also being used which are variants on the same subject. In all cases, the purpose is to get the sufferer to disclose confidential information including financial particulars for the supposed transfer of funds.

The electronic mails also contain a text file to copy, complete, and send as part of the claims procedure. That file is infected with a malevolent program that is planned to further harass electronic mail receivers.

Other Internet Crime Complaint Center phishing cheats have also been recognized that similarly mimic IC3. One such cheat claims the electronic mail receiver’s computer has been used to carry out several online crimes. The user told to get in touch with the FBI by telephone concerning the inquiry. Telephone number connects the electronic mail receiver to the scammer, not the FBI.

The FBI has advised all people receiving electronic mails such as these to report the cheats to IC3.