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Federal authorities are investigating two e-mail scams, including one targeting families of soldiers killed in Iraq, that claim to be connected to the Homeland Security Department.
Both of the online pleas for help — and money — link themselves to the bureau.
In one scheme, e-mail sent to families of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq include a link to the bureau's Web site. The e-mail seeks to recover money from a friend of the slain soldier.
In the other, the e-mail identifies itself as being sent by a federal agent trying to track down funds looted from the Iraqi Central Bank by Saddam Hussein's son. The e-mail also links to the bureau Web site and asks for confirmation of the recipient's address by urging, "There is a very important and confidential matter which I want us both to discuss."
The bogus e-mails resemble the so-called "Nigerian letter." In that persistent scam, victims are presented with an opportunity to receive nonexistent government money, often from the "Government of Nigeria," as long as they pay a fee often characterized as a bribe to that government.