Ignore that FBI. We're the real FBI, says the FBI that's totally the FBI

Don't open that malware mail from the Feds that's not from the Feds, Feds warn

By Iain Thomson in San Francisco

Posted in Security, 1st February 2018 20:57 GMT

Some scammers may have bitten off more than they can chew after they tried impersonating the FBI to spread malware.

The Feds' Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued an alert on Wednesday warning that it has received numerous complaints from citizens who have received emails purporting to be from IC3. Each message states that the recipient is due money as compensation from a cyber-attack, and asks them to fill out the attached document with their personal details – and, yup, you guessed it – that file is laden with malware.

The email claims a Nigerian had been arrested by the FBI in Atlanta, USA, and that the recipient's email address had been found on the imaginary scammer's computer. All the mark has to do to pocket their windfall is return the document with their contact details and wait for the cash to arrive.

"At least three other versions of the IC3 impersonation scam have been identified," the FBI warned. "As of July 2017, the IC3 has received numerous victim complaints regarding the scam."

Two other variants of the emails are in circulation. One claims to come from the FBI IC3 office in Houston, Texas, and informs the lucky recipient that they are due $10.5m in compensation from banking fraud.

The third letter take a more threatening tone, saying that the IP address associated with the recipient's computer has been under investigation since September 2017 for online crimes. The receiver is instructed to fill out the enclosed booby-trapped form and return it.

So far the FBI says no one appears to have been financially hurt by the scam, and it is probing the con. Agents are also seeking out the scammers – and very few things piss off the G-Men like someone taking their name in vain. Expect arrests. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

48 Comments

More from The Register

Microsoft emergency update: Malware Engine needs, erm, malware protection

Stop appreciating the irony and go install the patch now

Security bods liberate EITest malware slaves

Miscreants' command and control network traffic sent down sinkhole

Hey, govt hacker bod. Made some really nasty malware? Don't be upset if it returns to bite you

RSA 2018 Cough, cough, EternalBlue, cough, cough Wannacry, splutter, Stuxnet

Infosec brainiacs release public dataset to classify new malware using AI

Data is the secret sauce to advancing AI research

Crumbs! Crunchyroll distributed malware for a couple of hours

Anime-streamer is fine again, and disinfection is easy

Researchers create AI attacker to defeat AI malware defender

It's like Spy Vs Spy, but with neural network boffins

Slingshot malware uses cunning plan to find a route to sysadmins

Advanced router code has been in circulation for six years

'R2D2' stops disk-wipe malware before it executes evil commands

'Reactive Redundancy for Data Destruction Protection' stops the likes of Shamoon and Stonedrill before they hit 'erase'

Surprise: Norks not actually behind Olympic Destroyer malware outbreak – Kaspersky

Who framed Pyongyang, then, we wonder

Taiwanese cops give malware-laden USB sticks as prizes for security quiz

What was second prize? We think we'd rather have that