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FBI warns of email, phone scams across state

Posted: March 28, 2013 - 12:12am

The FBI Wednesday warned of an email scam targeting Alaskans, including some residents in Juneau.

The special agent in charge of the FBI in Alaska, Kevin C. Donovan, said in a news release that there’s an ongoing email scheme wherein a person posing as a professional hitman threatens to murder the recipient of the email if he or she doesn’t comply with his demands for money.

According to a press release, the fraudster claims his team was hired and paid a lot of money by one of your friends to kill you. The fraudster demands $10,000 to call off the hit and claims he will provide a tape containing evidence as to who hired him, once that amount is paid.

“The recipient is threatened with murder if they fail to comply,” the release states. “The recipient is also threatened that they are currently being watched by the hitman’s team and that the hitman will kill the recipient’s family if the recipient contacts law enforcement.”

On Tuesday, the FBI also warned of a phone scam reported elsewhere in the state. Under this scheme, victims receive a text message on their cell phones stating their credit cards have been de-activated and to call a 907 area code phone number to re-activate it. The recording asks for your 16-digit card number, expiration date, CVV code and PIN.

“We have received a few complaints, and unfortunately, some have divulged personal information to the senders,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent and Spokesman Eric B. Gonzalez, though noting none of the complaints came from the Juneau area. “We’re putting this advisory out so people will be reminded to protect personal information and to be on the lookout for these phishing schemes.”
The FBI advises that if you receive a text message from an entity regarding your credit card account, delete the message and call the number listed on the back of your credit card. Calling the listed number can help you determine whether the incoming text was a valid contact from the credit card company.

Donovan encouraged anyone who receives the email described above, or a similar email attempting to extort money, to contact your local FBI office and file a complaint at the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s website at www.ic3.gov. He said that website is also a good resource for the public to learn more about different schemes and how to identify and report such fraud.

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