17 Mar 2011

IC3: Several scams circulating

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, there are several scams being circulated by cyber criminals.

A romance scam has been dangerous for people participating in online dating websites. Victims of this type of scam are contacted by people in desperate need of funds for a hotel, lawyer or return to the United States. People contacted by these types of messages are advised not to send money.

Another dangerous scam includes email phishing for targeting personal information. According to the IC3, it has received more than 150 complaints regarding this scam, which claims the victim must provide sensitive information for tax payments that were rejected.

Victims of a telephone scam reported their computers were infected with viruses. The cyber criminals claim to be employees of large companies - including software companies - and the victims’ computers are infected with a virus. The caller instructs the victim to navigate certain websites to help remove the virus.

“Many victims reported loud background noise during the call, indicating a possible boiler room-type operation,” said the IC3. “Some victims reported the scam to the online software company. The company has an alert on their website warning consumers about this matter.”

The IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center to combat internet crime.