Justice Department Warning About Spam E-Mail
I have received an alert from the Department of Justice about hoax e-mails designed to make it look like the recipient is the subject of a complaint filed with the DOJ. The alert wasn’t clear if this was a phishing attempt to perpetrate identity theft or an attempt to spread malicious software. In any case, the DOJ would never notify any individual or company of a complaint via e-mail. If you get one of these e-mails, don’t worry – and don’t respond. Just delete it.
Here’s the full alert from the DOJ:
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ALERTS PUBLIC ABOUT FRAUDULENT SPAM EMAIL
Justice Department Urges Public Not to Respond to Email
WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice has recently become aware of fraudulent spam e-mail messages claiming to be from DOJ. Based upon complaints from the public, it is believed that the fraudulent messages are addressed "Dear Citizen." The messages are believed to assert that the recipients or their businesses have been the subject of complaints filed with DOJ and also forwarded to the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, such email messages may provide a case number, and state that the complaint was "filled [sic] by Mr. Henry Stewart." A DOJ logo may appear at the top of the email message or in an attached file. Finally, the message may include an attachment that supposedly contains a copy of the complaint and contact information for Mr. Stewart.
THESE EMAIL MESSAGES ARE A HOAX. DO NOT RESPOND.
The Department of Justice did not send these unsolicited email messages — and would not send such messages to the public via email. Similar hoaxes have been recently perpetrated in the names of various governmental entities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service. Email users should be especially wary of unsolicited warning messages that purport to come from U.S. governmental agencies directing them to click on file attachments or to provide sensitive personal information.
These spam email messages are bogus and should be immediately deleted. Computers may be put at risk simply by an attempt to examine these messages for signs of fraud. It is possible that by "double-clicking" on attachments to these messages, recipients will cause malicious software – e.g., viruses, keystroke loggers, or other Trojan horse programs – to be launched on their computers.
Do not open any attachment to such messages. Delete the e-mail. Empty the deleted items folder.
If you have received this, or a similar hoax, please file a complaint at www.ic3.gov. Within the complaint, please list "DOJ Spoof Email" in the "Business Name" field of the complaint, where complainants are directed to place the name of the business which has victimized them, as this will allow the IC3 to easily retrieve and process these complaints.
Consumers can learn more about protecting themselves from malicious spyware and bogus e-mails at OnGuardOnline.gov, a Web site created by the Department of Justice in partnership with other federal agencies and the technology industry to help consumers stay safe online. The site features modules on spyware and phishing, at http://onguardonline.gov/spyware.html and http://onguardonline.gov/phishing.html.
Consumers can also obtain information on Internet safety at