The FBI Wants You to Answer a Few Questions… Not Really. It’s Ransomware!

Taking Action

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A new ransomware scam is surfacing in emails throughout the country containing emblems of both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). According to AARP, the email claims that the FBI is requiring the recipient to complete a questionnaire and return it within 10 days. A supposed tax regulation that took effect on June 21 is cited to fake legitimacy. The questionnaire link downloads ransomware onto unsuspecting consumers’ computers and prevents them from accessing stored data on the device until they pay the money demanded by the scammers. Below is a copy of the email:

fbi scam

It is important to remember that any official correspondence from a federal agency will come by U.S. mail – not by email, text message, social media post, or phone call. When receiving a suspicious email, remember the following:

  • Don’t click on links from unfamiliar sources. Even if you think you know the sender, be cautious about clicking on email links. When in doubt, delete it. Be especially wary of messages requiring you to act quickly, asking for personal information, or threatening you in any way.
  • Keep clean machines: Prevent infections by updating critical software as soon as patches or new operating system versions are available. This includes mobile and other internet-connected devices.
  • Use strong authentication, requiring more than a username and password to access accounts, especially critical networks. This will help prevent access through stolen or hacked credentials. Check out Lock down your login for more information.
  • Conduct regular backups of systems: Systems can be restored in cases of ransomware and having current backup of all data speeds the recovery process.
  • Make better passwords: In cases where passwords are still used, require long, strong and unique passwords to better harden accounts against intrusions.

Source: AARP

For more information visit, There’s No Question About FBI ‘Questionnaire’ Email: It’s a New Ransomware Scam

If you would like to report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit

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