The IC3 has produced Scam Alerts in the past advising the public of an
ongoing telephone scam in which callers purport to be an employee of a major
software company. The callers have strong foreign accents. The callers
report the user�s computer is sending error messages and numerous viruses
have been detected. The caller convinces the user to give them permission to
run a program allowing the caller to gain remote access. The caller advises
the virus can be removed for a fee.
Intimidation tactics used in this scam have influenced victims to pay
fees associated with the removal of alleged viruses. It has been reported to
the IC3 an individual who paid the required fees, later received a call
advising the victim the funds paid for the services went to India and were
used to purchase weapons for ISIS. The call came with an additional request
for money to remove the victim�s name from a black list.
In a new twist to the tech support scam, cyber criminals attempt to
defraud using another avenue. The scam is executed while a user is browsing
the Internet. In this scenario, a website being viewed provided a link to
articles related to popular topics. The user clicked the link and was
redirected to a website which produced a window that advised the user�s
computer had been hacked. Another window was displayed that contained a
telephone number to obtain assistance. The user reported all attempts to
close the windows were ineffective. Upon calling the number for assistance
the user was connected with an individual who spoke with a heavy foreign
accent claiming to be an Apple representative. During the process the user�s
web browser was hijacked. Restarting the computer in an attempt to regain
access to the Web produced another message with a different telephone number
to obtain assistance.
The execution of this fraud is similar to what was reported in a Public
Service Announcement (PSA) dated 07/18/2013. The PSA reports on a version of
ransomware that targets OS X Mac users. This version is not a malware; it
windows) and requires victims to close each iframe. The cyber criminals
anticipate victims will pay the requested ransom before realizing all
iframes need to be closed. The full PSA can be found at
If you are a victim of this scam or a similar scheme it is suggested:
- To file a complaint at www.IC3.GOV
- Resist the pressure to act quickly
- Be cautious of clicking on unknown links
Apps are caught stealing private data stored on smartphones (Android and
A Fascinating Article About Passwords
How do you choose a good password? And what's meant by "good"
anyway? Is a long password better than a short one? What about a
long one that consists of many short words?
If you've ever wondered how hackers manage to crack
passwords, and why some are more difficult to crack than others,
there's a fascinating article at
which is a very interesting read.