FBI Issues Alerts About Three Online Scams

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a cooperative effort between the the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), issued three alerts yesterday regarding online scams.

The first alert concerned misspellings of a social network. A victim which misspelled the name of the site would end up on a site that looked like the real one. They would then be asked to answer a series of survey questions, and were then ‘rewarded’ with a choice of free gifts such as gift cards and laptops. After selecting a gift the victim was directed other websites offering gifts for surveys. The IC3 reported that some victims spent hours answering surveys and providing personal details such as their name, address, e-mail, without ever actually receiving a gift.

The second scam alert involves fake receipts. This scam did not target regular PC users, instead it went after online Marketplace merchants. A program, which the IC3 reports has been making the rounds in hacker forums, makes a realistic looking receipt. The seller would be told something had gone wrong during the ordering process, or a licensing key was lost, and the receipt would be used as ‘proof of purchase’.

The third scam alert regards an e-mail that appears to be a holiday greeting from the White House. Government employees were the target. Links in the e-mail would attempt to download a ‘card.exe’ file. The file was a Trojan which is designed to disable key security systems within the victims computer, allowing a hacker to probe for private information. The IC3 said that at the time of their report, only 20% of antivirus programs caught this program.

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Jimmy is an assistant editor and a writer here at News For Shoppers. He has more than two decades of experience in the shopping industry, having worked in sales and marketing in both the technology and fashion industries.