FBI & Homeland Security Warns Hackers Impersonating IC3 Online Fraud Complaint Portal

fbi internet crime complaint center

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have issued a security alert on 1st February informing about the new online fraud complaint phishing scam of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

The FBI has received complaints from victims who have reported about receiving emails from Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3). As of December 2017, the IC3 had received over 100 complaints regarding this scam. No monetary losses have yet to be reported.

In this scam, the cybercriminals emailed victims requesting the recipients provide additional information in order to be paid restitution. In an attempt to make the emails look legitimate, the scammers included hyperlinks of news articles which detailed the arrest or apprehension of an internet fraudster. The scammers have also attached a text document (.txt) to download, complete, and return to the cybercriminals.

There are three versions of the IC3 scam have been discovered. The first one involved a fake IC3 social media page, which advertised itself as the FBI Cyber Crime Department (IC3) and requested recipients provide personal information in order to report an internet crime. The email template used for this scam is provided below

ic3-crime-complaint-scam-1

The second involved an email which stated the recipient was treated unfairly by various banks and courier companies. The email claimed the recipient's name was found in a financial company's database and that they will be compensated for this unfair treatment. The email template used for this scam is provided below:

ic3-crime-complaint-scam-2

The third example involved an email from the Internet Crime Investigation Center/Cyber Division and provided an address in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The email also included a case reference number in the subject line. The email informed the recipient that their IP address was referred to the IC3 as a possible victim of a federal cyber-crime. The email then requests the recipient to contact the sender via telephone. The email template used for this scam is provided below:

ic3-crime-complaint-scam-3
Always beware of these type of phishing scams. Stay safe.