Sunday, October 26, 2014

Scammer Posing As FBI Agent

On October 14th, I received the following message that went straight to my Spam box:



Federal Bureau of Investigation
Field Intelligence Groups 
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 
Washington, D.C.
Attention: Beneficiary,
We sincerely apologized for sending you this sensitive information via e-mail instead of a certified mail, post-mail, phone or face to face conversation, it's due to the urgency and importance of the security information of our citizenry, i am Special Agent Erick Bolt from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs). We intercepted two consignment boxes at JFK Airport, New York. The boxes were scanned and they contained large sum of money ($4.1 million) and also some backup documents which bears your name as the Beneficiary/Receiver of the money. Investigation was carried out on the diplomat that accompanied the boxes into the United States and he said that he was to deliver the fund to your residence as overdue payment owed to you by the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the security company in United Kingdom.
After cross-checking all legal documents in the boxes, we found out that your consignment was lacking an important document and we can't release the boxes to the diplomat until the document is found, we have no other option than to confiscate your consignment.
According to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) in Title 26 also contain reporting requirement on a Form 8300, Report of Cash Payment Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business, money laundering activity may violate 18 USC §1956, 18 USC 1957, 18 USC 1960, and provision of Title 31, and 26 USC 6050I of the United States Code (USC), this section will discuss only those money laundering and currency violation under the jurisdiction of IRS, your consignment lacks proof of ownership certificate from the joint team of IRS and IRC, therefore you need to reply back immediately for direction on how to procure this certificate to enable us relieved the charge of evading the law on you, which is a punishable offense in the United States.
You are required to reply back within 72hours or you will be prosecuted in a court of law for money laundering, also you are instructed to desist from further contact with any bank(s) or person(s) in Nigeria or the United Kingdom or any part of the world regarding your payment because your consignment has been confiscated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation here in the United States.
Yours In Service,
Special Agent Erick Bolt
Regional Deputy Director
Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs)

While the English in the message is of better quality than typical scammers (Yes, it is a scam) the language isn't entirely as good as one might expect from a college-educated FBI agent that you would expect. I could go into detail, but I don't want to provide any information to any scammer or potential scammer on how to improve their game.

So, I'll stick with easier stuff which provides no help to scammers, but may set any other recipients' minds at ease who might actually be worried that the FBI is coming to get them.

While the email address looks authentic, it is not a valid email address, so any replies sent to it will be bounced-back. The actual Reply address attached to this email is and no FBI agent would use a separate email address to conduct official business. According to official FBI policy. all official correspondence must be conducted using an FBI-approved email address. The Bureau is still hurting from past agents who have decided to do their own thing at the expense of the US Government.

Another reason to not take this email and its accompanying threats seriously is that the FBI would never contact you by email regarding an official investigation. They would normally come to you in person. A couple of agents would come to your home or workplace, show their IDs and ask you some questions. If the matter was important enough, they would take you to their office and question you there. They would never rely on email to contact you.

Furthermore, notice how "Agent Bolt" provided no phone number for me to call him. So, this whole exchange would have been conducted via email? No, the FBI doesn't work that way. If this email had come from the FBI, I would have been given a phone and/or FAX number.

So, there's no consignment waiting for me anywhere and no FBI agent who's coming to get me. I'm not the first person to receive this email and I don't think I'll be the last.

Duane Browning
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