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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Scams Promising Large Winnings And Threats If Victims Do Not Comply
July 20, 2011

Scams Promising Large Winnings And Threats If Victims Do Not Comply

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Scams Promising Large Winnings And Threats If Victims Do Not Comply

The IC3 has received numerous complaints advising of a spam email attachment circulating, which claimed to be from the FBI.

The email appeared to be the typical Nigerian 419 type scam; however, this most recent attempt contained the FBI seal and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) logo at the top, making it appear official. The letter instructs the recipient to contact the EFCC in Lagos, Nigeria, at the email address provided to obtain "clearance documents" and asks that the recipient provide their full name, address, and telephone/cell number.

Several different names, email addresses, and mailing addresses are used in this email scam, but the content of the letter remains consistent throughout. The letter threatened that, if the recipient does not contact the EFCC immediately, Director Mueller "will have an agent come visit you at home for questioning." The letter emphasized the need to send $250 for issuing the clearance document, and then $1.5 million would be released to the individual.

The letter attempted to coerce recipients into cooperating by advising that "failure to provide the above requirement in the next 24 hours, legal action will be taken immediately by arresting and detaining you."

The letter was signed, "Faithfully Yours, Robert S. Mueller III, FBI Director." In addition, the letter contained ccs at the bottom to various agencies including the Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. Courts of Appeals, and U.S. District and Circuit Courts. The social engineering technique of utilizing the FBI's name helps fraudsters intimidate, impress, and convince the recipient that the emails are legitimate.

Several Public Service Announcements have been posted on the,, and websites related to these types of schemes.

If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other Cyber crime, you can report it to the IC3 website at: The IC3 complaint database links complaints for potential referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration. Complaint information is also used to identity emerging trends and patterns.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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