Good afternoon Scambook reader:
This letter is to inform you that it has come to our attention that you have not received the funds entitled to you due to fraud on the part of the head of the Central Bank of Nigeria and a professor at a leading University. The FBI has put its best people on this case and you can rest assured that we will get your money to you.
The $11,000,000 is available to you at any ATM worldwide with a maximum daily withdrawal of $4000 to $5000. To access this account there is only a nominal fee of $150.00 for the ATM Card to be sent to your address. Please contact the Agent below.
Contact John Smith of the ATM Payment Center with your details:
Make the $150.00 transfer via Western Union or Money Gram to ensure proper delivery of your ATM Card.
Thanks and hope to read from you soon.
ROBERT S. MUELLER, III
DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535
Does this letter look familiar? It may, it’s a shorter version of an e-mail that has been going around, and you can find the full version here. If you were tricked into thinking this was a real letter, you’re not alone. The FBI even says that if you receive an e-mail claiming to be from an “FBI Director or other top official, it is most likely a scam.”
Attention Dear Reader
The first thing that should tip you off that the e-mail is a scam is how it reads. If there are unnecessarily long sentences then be weary. If the message seems to be poorly written yet is from the Director of the FBI, then it is likely a scam. Also, you should be questioning why the FBI is investigating a prize of $11,000,000 that you never knew you won. Did you buy a lottery ticket? Did you enter into an actual contest? If not, then don’t trust an e-mail, even if it is supposedly from the FBI. Also, be sure you do a search on Scambook.com to see if anyone else has come across a similar scam.
If you are a regular reader of the Scambook.com blog then you should have seen the bright, red, flashing warning sign. Apparently, the FBI wants you to wire them money by using Western Union. This alone should tell you this is a scam. Think about it for a minute. If you have just won $11,000,000 and the FBI is facilitating the transaction, why can’t it take the $150 from the millions of dollars of your money they already have? Scammers like Western Union and Money Gram for the simple reason that you can’t get your money back if you send it. Also, it’s hard to locate people who pick up money on the other end, and there is little duty Western Union owes to customers like you.
How to Stay Safe
You might think you’re safe because the FBI is contacting you, but as we saw, this is a lie. Here are some tips:
1. Lottery Scam: unless you have a ticket from a legitimate U.S. lottery or Publisher Clearing House is at your door with a check, it’s a scam. While we all dream of winning it big, the chances of winning are so small. If you still want to believe then talk to a lawyer; if you win you can afford to and if it’s a scam then you can’t afford not to.
2. Don’t wire money: it is a common thing for scammers to ask you to wire them money. Unless you know the person you are wiring money to personally, just don’t do it. If someone insists to use Western Union or Money Gram, chances are they are scammers.
3. Mark it as spam: most e-mail providers have programs that do their best to detect spam. By marking the e-mail as spam and not replying to it, you are helping improve the spam filter for everyone.
4. Visit Scambook.com: make sure you visit Scambook.com
regularly to keep ahead of the latest scams. By posting the e-mail that you received and commenting on other users’ posts, you can help fight back against scammers.