Saturday, July 21, 2012

Scam Email Posing As The FBI

I checked my email a couple of days ago and found this:

From: Federal Bureau Investigation
To:
Sent: Friday, May 4, 2012 4:10 PM
Subject: GET BACK TO US NOW TO AVOID PROBLEM


For your Kind Attention.

This is an official advice from the FBI foreign remittance/telegraphic dept.it has come to our notice that bank of Nigeria has released us$8m to BANK OF AMERICA in your name as the beneficiary, The bank Nigeria knowing fully well that they do not have enough facilities to effect this payment from Nigeria to your account, They used what we know as a “secret diplomatic transit payment” (S.T.D.P) to pay this fund through wire transfer, but this means of transfer can not reflect to your account as this was wrong method of transfer.

So to this regards we are contacting you to provide the proof of this us$8m you are about to receive is a clean money by sending FBI Identification Record and also Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer(DIST) to satisfy that the money you are about to receive is legitimate and real money. You are to forward the documents to us immediately, and if you don't have it in your possession, do let us know so that we will direct and inform you where to obtain the document and send to us so that we will ask the bank holding your
funds to go ahead Crediting your account immediately.

Get back to us immediately if you don't have the document so that we will inform you the particular place to obtain the document because we have come to realize that the fund was transfer without provision of Identification Record and Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer (DIST) often referred to as a Criminal History Record or Rap Sheet, is a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions retained by the FBI in connection with arrests and, in some instances, federal employment,naturalization, or military
service. These conditions is Valid only for few days after we shall take actions on canceling the payment and then charge you for illegally moving funds out of Nigeria.

Get back to us now with requirement.

--------------------------------------------------------
WARNING: failure to produce the above requirement in the next 72 hours, legal action will be taken immediately by arresting and detaining you, if found guilty, you will be jailed. As terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering is a serious problem in our community today. The F.B.I will not stop at any length in tracking down and prosecuting any criminal who indulge in this criminal act. FORWARD THE DOCUMENT TO US VIA EMAIL ATTACHMENT AS SOON AS YOU OBTAIN IT.

Thanks

FBI Director
Robert S. Mueller, III
The Reply-To address was federalbureauinvestigationsod1@live.com and not using the official fbi.gov email address that a real FBI agent would be using. The fbi.gov address was simply spoofed.

Aside from the poor English grammar used in the email and its use of threats against my personal freedom, there are quite a few clues to the fact that this email is fraudulent and not worth worrying about:

  1. the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not contact criminal suspects by email. They would either call you on the phone to ask you to come to their office and answer some questions or they would simply send some agents out to find you and physically bring you in;
  2. the Director of the FBI does not send out emails to suspects, they have a lot of field agents to do the job;
  3. I doubt if the FBI would handle a case involving international money transfers, since I think that would be the US Customs Service's job or the Secret Service. I could be wrong, though;
  4. using an email address not directly under the control of the FBI is a big no-no for their agents conducting official business, especially if it's the Director;

I could go on all night about this, but the point has been made.

Scammers posing as the FBI or some other US federal agency are relying on people being so afraid of going to prison that they won't stop and think before they send their personal information off in a reply, which is a reason for the dire threats included at the bottom of the email. The real FBI would never send an email out with such things, as it is unprofessional and possibly illegal.

If you get an email claiming to be from the FBI, it's a scam. If you have any doubts, call your local FBI office to make certain.

Duane Browning
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