Ransomware Scam Spoofs FBI and IRS

Government (U.S.)

The Internal Revenue Service on Monday warned of a ransomware scheme that pretends to be from both the IRS and the FBI.

The email features emblems from both agencies and implies the recipient owes taxes. The email encourages users to download an FBI questionnaire, but the link downloads malware that locks down the device’s data and demands payment to release it, according to the alert.

The alert suggests users do not pay the ransom and contact the FBI, the Internet Crime Complaint Center or forward IRS-themed schemes to phishing@irs.gov.

“People with a tax issue won’t get their first contact from the IRS with a threatening email or phone call," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement.