- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Watch out for ‘government’ e-mail scams, Homeland Security warns
Computer hackers and identity thieves have taken on a new roll: agents of the Homeland Security Department.
At least, that’s the claim in a recent round of malicious spam e-mails sent to thousands nation-wide. The scam purports that Homeland Security (DHS) is starting an investigation into a user’s activity, and are going to suspend their computer. The easiest way to avoid the investigation? Pay a small fine.
Of course, the e-mail isn’t authentic. The real Homeland Security Department and its U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) are warning users not to fall for the scam.
“US-CERT and DHS encourage users and administrators to use caution when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventive measures to protect themselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns that attempt to frighten and deceive a recipient for the purpose of illegal gain,” the agency said.
The tips are fairly common sense things: don’t click on any links you get, don’t submit any information, don’t forward the scam e-mails onto others and always keep your computer’s virus software up-to-date.
Another recent scam claims that DHS has intercepted a cashiers check addressed to the user. All they require to release it is a “clearance fee.”
“If you cannot come to our office in person for verification, clearance and collection of your check, send the verification and clearance fee of $2,890 to us via Western Union or Money Gram,” the e-mail reads.
Some of the e-mails show a degree of sophistication, including using the names and positions of actual DHS officials.
Government officials warn computer users to be cautious.
“A hoax could be malicious, instructing users to delete a file necessary to the operating system by claiming it is a virus. It could also be a scam that convinces users to send money or personal information,” the agency said. “Try to verify the information before following any instructions or passing the message along.”
The agency’s list of common scams includes a warning about a now-classic con: a fake message from DHS requesting assistance in a business transaction with - who else - wealthy Nigerians.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- MEANS: U.S. economy on schedule to crash March 4, 2014
- 1M kids stop school lunch due to Michelle Obamas food standards
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Bush to blame for Ukraine
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again