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.
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