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++++ Central Intelligence Agency -CIA-
++++ Office of Public Affairs
++++ Washington, D.C. 20505
++++ phone: (703) 482-0623
++++ 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., US Eastern time
Now I'm sure Mr. Allison is a real person at the CIA and the telephone number is probably legit. Now if I were an American citizen who is clueless about the Internet , I might respond to the e-mail by opening the attachment (a zip file no less) which contains the latest variant of the Sober worm. You would think that the kiddie scripters would know better and construct a more formal e-mail than one like the one above. One thing for sure is that this particular e-mail account of mine do get a lot of junk e-mail including Paypal scams, Nigerian scams and the various lottery winner scams. The problem is that it is almost impossible to track the sender of the e-mail even though the originating IP-based sender is shown to be an ISP based in Malaysia. Obviously these scams do work as it only take one to be sucked in to make it worthwhile. While most that I have seen are done via e-mail, there was one where I got sent official looking documentation via regular mail.
So, bottom line, never open any emails from folks that you don't know and also be wary of emails professing to be from well known companies (e.g. PayPal, your bank) as more than likely they are phising emails.