Scam alert: Beware of phony Secret Service email requesting personal data


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Beware of an e-mail claiming to be from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on behalf of the FBI requesting that you “kindly get back to us for further directives.”  It is a scam, according to a report in the Miami Herald on Wednesday.

“It didn’t appear very convincing to me when I opened it,” former WSVN-TV reporter Derek Hayward told Examiner.  “An award of almost 11 million dollars would come in quite handy now that I’m retired,” he stated with a chuckle.

The fake e-mail claims as follows:

SECRET SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

WASHINGTON, DC 20528, USA.

Good day,

This is the Department of Homeland Security we have vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face as well as internet Fraud. This requires the dedication of more than 230,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cyber security analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear — keeping America safe.

We are happy to inform you that your funds valued at US$10,700,000.00 (Ten million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) have been approved by the Treasury Department of the United States.

Kindly get back to us for further directives.

Note: Do not reply to any e-mail that comes from the FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III. The FBI director does not e-mail people; He will rather send an agent to your door step in person. Do not fall a victim of scam again, a word is enough for the wise.

Thank you and have a good day.

Signed: Julia Pierson

Director, United States Secret Service

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Washington, DC 20528, USA

The signatory of the e-mail – Julia Pierson – is the real director of the U.S. Secret Service.  She is an Orlando native, former Orlando police officer, and spent several years in the Secret Service’s Miami office back in the 1980’s. She became the agency’s first female director in late March.

As in other variations of this scam, this is not a legitimate communication from law enforcement, but rather an attempt to obtain personal banking information from an unsuspecting victim.  If you have received this e-mail or something similar to it, do not follow the instructions.  It is suggested that you forward the communication to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.IC3.gov.

WSVN-Fox 7 to air NFC championship game despite DirecTV impasse



South Florida DirecTV viewers will get a reprieve this Sunday as Miami Fox affiliate WSVN-Ch. 7 has decided to air the NFC championship game between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers despite an impasse over retransmission fees.

In a statement issued late Thursday, Robert Leider, general manager and executive vice president of WSVN, said he is airing the game as a service to their viewers.

“WSVN-TV is still negotiating with DirecTV, but we care about our viewers, and we want them to be able to watch this game, which will determine who goes to the Super Bowl,” stated Leider,

WSVN will provide transmission of its signal to DirecTV customers starting at 6 p.m. for the Fox pre-game show, the NFC championship game itself, a special edition of “American Idol,” its WSVN 7 News, and “Sports Extra.”

Following the conclusion of “Sports Extra,” the television screens of approximately 270,000 DirecTV customers will go black once again.

DirecTV and the owner of WSVN-Fox 7 in Miami and WHDH NBC 7 in Boston are in a standoff over fees the satellite provider pays to provide broadcast programming to its customers.  Although negotiations are underway, a settlement was unlikely by the weekend, hence the several hour reprieve by station management.