What happens is that these emails are part of phishing schemes. Phishing generally means that someone sends you fake or bogus emails with bad links in them. These links invite you to click on their bogus sites (i.e. not government sites at all) and submit some of your personal (confidential) information: maybe your complete name, social security number, etc. Some emails even have spyware attachments on them.
Identity thieves, or thieves who focus on identity theft issues, send out thousands of fake emails almost on a regular basis any more, saying they’re representing government entities. So heads up if you receive emails saying they’re from the Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission, Internal Revenue Service or other government agency or department. Spyware is computer software that is installed stealthily on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user’s interaction with the computer, without the user’s knowledge or consent.
These emails may be trying to trick you. One government department alone, the Treasury Department, reported* receiving over 23,000 complaints about IRS-related phishing schemes since November 2005. Most involve hoax emails telling recipients that they have a pending tax refund and are under investigation. Do not click on links inside emails from government agencies.
Government agencies rarely communicate via email, and if they do, it’s in response to something you initiated most often. They communicate via postal mail. Windows posts update regularly, especially security patches. Make sure you download these or at least check monthly for updates. Mark your Outlook or other calendar and check regularly. So arm yourself: your computer and email for identity theft protection. Better
safe than sorry!
Most agencies are a list on the web nowadays with contact information readily available. If you receive communications that you are unsure of, call the agency first to see if the emails are legitimate. Do not click on or save attachments that come with government emails. Delete these files. Unfortunately, sometimes even the best security isn’t good enough. Computers are expensive, and it makes sense to protect your investment from anything that could harm it.
Or maybe your computer just decided to crash one day. Back on Track was created with situations like these in mind, to help repair the damage that has been done to your PC. I really can’t rave enough about Back on Track. You don’t even need a Boot Disk for it to work, so there’s nothing to forget to make or to lose. If you have a computer that has information on it you’d rather not lose, I highly recommend Back on Track. From doctoral dissertations to Snood high scores, Back on Track has you covered.
They will reach your system by exploiting security holes or are packaged with user-installed software, such as Limewire. Spyware is often hidden alongside other programs, and you may unknowingly install spyware when you download a program from the Internet or install software from disks.
The scariest part of being attacked is the privacy implication virus spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.