Two email hoaxes are intended to steal personal and financial information, and infect a user's computer with a virus, the Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) has warned.

One of the emails tries to bait recipients by claiming they purchased a computer from an online service provider. It includes a link if the user wants to dispute the charges, according to the IC3, which is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. When the link is followed, the user is asked to provide account information, which is then collected by the attacker.

The other hoax arrives with a pdf attachment claiming to be the order summary for the computer purchase. The attachment contains a virus when opened. The IC3 did not provide details of the virus or its impact on a user's machine.

According to Sophos, email hoaxes that use Hotmail accounts and virtual greeting cards as their hooks are the most prevalent, accounting for nearly 29 percent of all email scams. The IC3 advises all users to be wary of providing financial information in response to an unsolicited email and they should never click on attachments from senders they do not know.

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