FBI Contact Scams
Phishing is the most recent terminology applied to a specific tactic identified in cyberspace scams. As the name implies, phishing is derived from the word "fishing," and it means just that. There are cyber perpetrators who throw out bait through spam emails and just sit back and patiently wait to see how many unsuspecting and naÃ¯ve users will take the hook. It is simply amazing the underhanded, not to mention illegal, lengths they will go to reel someone in, as well as the large number of people who fall prey to this. This has been identified as the leading complaint of fraud made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by victims of this crime.
The bait used by those who "phish":
These "phishers" disguise themselves as a spokesperson or entity from a trustworthy establishment. This could be from popular websites, such as YouTube, online credit institutions, such as Chase, or they may even pose as an official from federal branches or agencies. Through these means, they make the message sound and look very authoritative, which often results in the recipient responding without question. They even go as far as placing a link that navigates the person to a website that looks authentic. Within here, there is a form that may ask for credit card or bank information as well as other secured information. Once this is keyed in, it falls into the hands of those whose main purpose in life is to defraud you as much as they can before you catch on to what has happened.
Phishing scam using an FBI agent's identity:
The FBI released a warning in October about a spam email that was circulating with the FBI Deputy Director John Pistole's name in an attempt to commit fraud. Within this message, they advise the recipients that they are beneficiaries of a large amount of money, and, in order to obtain it, they will first have to pay a fee and provide their personal bank account and routing number. The email is very official sounding, and, of course, the money would certainly be a very tempting lure for anyone. These online criminals prey on the emotional weaknesses found in most human beings.
You should always follow the old adage "If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is." Besides this, never give out your personal identification to anyone until you have thoroughly checked them out. If someone robs you of your identity, it may take years as well as a great deal of money to recover from this. Using the above scam as a lesson, all it would take is making a call to the FBI or going directly to their website to verify whether you indeed have inherited some money. If not, you should immediately report it to the authorities.