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Virus alert: Don't open FBI e-mail

From CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden
The FBI says it does not send unsolicited e-mails to the public.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Computer Security
Computer Virus

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Don't open those e-mail attachments that appear to be from the FBI. They might contain a computer virus.

The FBI late Tuesday warned computer users that scam artists pretending to be FBI agents are at work spreading the computer virus.

"These e-mails did not come from the FBI," the Bureau said in a statement released from its Washington headquarters.

"The FBI does not engage in the practice of sending unsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner."

The warning to the public was prompted by an ongoing mass e-mail in which computer users receive unsolicited e-mails purportedly sent by the FBI.

The scam e-mails tell recipients their Internet use has been monitored by the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center, and that they have accessed illegal Web sites.

The e-mails then direct recipients to open an attachment and answer questions, but the attachments contain a computer virus.

"The FBI strongly encourages computer users not to open such attachments," the statement said.

The FBI does have an Internet Crime Complaint Center, which is located in West Virginia.

That center, however, is investigating the ongoing scam and not -- as the scammers claim -- monitoring the Internet use of ordinary citizens.

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