Fake FBI e-mail spreads virus

Published 10:34 am Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yet another Internet scam is making its way into people’s e-mail inboxes, and Police Chief Brian Krueger is cautioning Austin area residents not to fall for it.

The scam is more elaborate than most, Krueger said. The e-mail comes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but it’s not actually from the FBI. The e-mail claims a diplomat has come into the country with a large sum of money that is to be delivered to the e-mail recipient because it’s “due you from the office of Finance Minister of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

However, once the recipient of the e-mail contacts the “FBI” to receive their consignment payment, a virus attacks the computer, causing the computer to take control of its own activities and leaving the user helpless.

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Krueger said a handful of Austin residents have reported the scam to him, and most of them have had to get their computers fixed after following the scam e-mail’s instructions. He said anyone concerned about the validity of an e-mail should refrain from providing personal information, replying or clicking on any links provided.

“People need to be aware so they don’t need to get their computer hard drives repaired because they got a virus,” Krueger said.