On-line scammers pretending to be the FBI

Authorities are warning Rio Grande Valley residents after receiving numerous calls from the McAllen area about an on-line scam where criminals are pretending to be the FBI.

FBI officials told Action 4 News that people are receiving an official-looking FBI email message when they log on to the Internet.

The message says that the user entered an unlawful website and must now pay a fine via electronic means in order to avoid arrest.

FBI officials said the scam is a variation of older ones where official looking FBI insignia and/or seals are used to help convince the unknowing user to send money to the scammer.

In nearly every case, the user TMs computer is likely infected with one of the many viruses or malicious software which can lock-up their computer screen.

In almost all instances, the user has either done one of two things:

1) Visited a suspect/dirty website and picked-up the virus2) Opened an email attachment from a known or unknown sender which had malicious software attached.

FBI officials want the public to know:

- The FBI WILL NEVER ISSUE AN EMAIL ASKING YOU FOR MONEY OR PAYMENT OF A FINE.- Computer users should be very vigilant of which websites they visit, and what attachments they open.- If users have been affected by this virus/scam they may now (almost certainly) have to have their computers cleaned/scrubbed for viruses by a reputable computer technician.- These scams typically originate from one of several foreign countries where U.S. requests for law enforcement response to scammers is scant or non-existent.