CBNNews.com - Are you, your money or your information wanted by the FBI?
If you answered yes, were contacted via email and see the name of FBI Director Robert Mueller somewhere on your computer screen, you've been targeted in a scam.
Numerous incidents of fraudulent schemes illegally using the names of Mueller and other FBI officials and agents have recently been reported.
Con artists have taken advantage of the escalating use of the Internet to extract information for their financial gain.
Be on the Lookout
The FBI is warning the public to not be disarmed by the emails, complete with the FBI seal, letterhead and banners.
Many are either in the form of inheritance notifications or lottery endorsements.
The fraudulent messages span from threat and extortion e-mails to online auction scams to Web site monitoring - containing malicious computer program attachments known as 'malware'.
Because seemingly authentic FBI names and images adorn the notifications, the scams have been extremely deceiving to recipients, who often feel compelled and intimidated to reply. The practice has been dubbed as the social engineering technique.
In a press release, the FBI is notifying Americans that it does not send out e-mails to citizens asking for any type of information.
The warning calls for anyone with an e-mail account to be wary of anything donning FBI names or emblems.
The FBI offers the public more information on cyber scams on its Web site.
For those who have received e-mails resembling those described above, click on this link to file a complaint.
Also, a new E-Scams and Warnings Web page has been made available.
Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, CBN News