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11-23-05 - If you've been contacted by the FBI through an e-mail lately, don't be worried, but don't open the e-mail's attachment. A scam is circulating that passes a virus to the computer user who falls for the ruse.
These days just about everyone has an e-mail address or two, and while it's a great way to communicate, getting an e-mail from the FBI could make you wonder.
The e-mail reads: "Dear sir or madam, we have logged your IP address on more than 30 illegal Web sites. Please answer our questions."
It's defintely an attention grabber, especially since it says it's from the FBI and gives a name, address, and phone number, but clicking on the attachment could cost you.
Larry Vaden of Internet Texoma says, "This gives every clue to the average citizen that this is not a valid e-mail, it's highly unlikely that the FBI would contact an individual in this manner."
And he's exactly right. We checked with the Sherman FBI office, and they say it's a scam. They've received over a dozen phone calls from folks who've received this e-mail over the last couple days. Simply reading the e-mail is fine, but opening the attachment will infect your computer with a virus.
"Do not automate the steps an actor needs you to conduct to infiltrate your machine, don't do the things automatically he's counting on"
Larry Vaden with Internet Texoma says new viruses are created every hour and it's up to each Internet user to protect themselves. From identity theft scams to e-mail forgery, computer users must always be on alert.
It's easy for someone to their hands on your e-mail address and attempt to do some major damage.
"They have to look at the risks and rewards, the risk is incredibly higher than the reward, they risk losing everything on their machine"
Vaden says the smartest way to protect your computer is updating your virus protection software on a daily basis. As far as the FBI, they're investigating where the e-mail originated from.
There is an FBI Website set up to report it at www.ic3.gov.