The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a cooperative effort between the the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), issued three alerts yesterday regarding online scams.

The first alert concerned misspellings of a social network. A victim which misspelled the name of the site would end up on a site that looked like the real one. They would then be asked to answer a series of survey questions, and were then ‘rewarded’ with a choice of free gifts such as gift cards and laptops. After selecting a gift the victim was directed other websites offering gifts for surveys. The IC3 reported that some victims spent hours answering surveys and providing personal details such as their name, address, e-mail, without ever actually receiving a gift.

The second scam alert involves fake receipts. This scam did not target regular PC users, instead it went after online Marketplace merchants. A program, which the IC3 reports has been making the rounds in hacker forums, makes a realistic looking receipt. The seller would be told something had gone wrong during the ordering process, or a licensing key was lost, and the receipt would be used as ‘proof of purchase’.

The third scam alert regards an e-mail that appears to be a holiday greeting from the White House. Government employees were the target. Links in the e-mail would attempt to download a ‘card.exe’ file. The file was a Trojan which is designed to disable key security systems within the victims computer, allowing a hacker to probe for private information. The IC3 said that at the time of their report, only 20% of antivirus programs caught this program.