(Picture courtesy of the FBI)
"The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)," according to their website.
In their own words it provides a "vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime."
According to a recently released press release from the FBI's Cyber Division, the good name of IC3 is being spoofed (impersonated) to lure people into become victims of identity theft and financial crimes. In this instance, the specific come-on is a claim that they are passing out money to the victims of cyber crime.
Besides being devious - they obviously have a "sick sense of humor."
From the press release:
The FBI is asking the public to be aware of e-mail schemes containing various versions of fraudulent refund notifications claiming to be from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and the government of the United Kingdom. The e-mails falsely state that refunds are being made available to compensate the recipients for their losses as victims of Internet fraud.
The perpetrators of this fraud use the names of people not associated with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, but give them titles in an attempt to make the e-mails appear official. The perpetrators use IC3’s logo and the former name of IC3, the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC), as well as the names of the Bank of England and the Metropolitan Police (U.K.) in the e-mails.
According to the FBI, the intended victim is required to sign a wire transfer release form in order to receive their refund. In actuality the scammers behind this will probably use the release form to have the bank wire all the money out of an account to them.
I haven't seen one of these spam e-mails yet. They could use different come-ons, or even drop malicious software on your system. When this occurs malware steals all the information from your computer, automatically.
If you would like to learn about cyber scams, the FBI site has a lot of relevant information. They are also requesting that if you spot one of these scams to report it directly to the "real" IC3 site.
Press release on this matter, here.