Scam of the day – October 6, 2014 – Important Message from FBI Headquarters scam

Obviously if you were to receive an important message from the FBI, you would take it seriously.  However, the FBI is not going to be sending you important messages by email and the FBI is not going to be notifying you about money you have won in a lottery.  However, a scam email is appearing around the country that appears to be come from FBI director James Comey.  In this email you are told that you have won ten million dollars and all that you need to do is to respond and provide information in order to collect your prize.  By the way, one of the agents mentioned in the email copied below is Bode Williams which is a name that has often occurred in various Nigerian email scams.  In all lottery scams, once you contact the person in charge, you will be told that you need to send in money for administrative fees or income taxes.  Don’t do it.  It is a scam.  The best thing to do is to ignore the email.  Here is a copy of the presently circulating email.  Although it does not show it here, the email does not come from the FBI, but rather from someone whose email address has been hijacked by a scammer and made a part of a botnet to send out these emails in massive numbers.

“This is to officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an investigation with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you legally won the sum of $10,000,000.00 USD. from a Lottery Company Inside the United States of America. During our investigation we discovered that your e-mail won the money from an Online Balloting System and we have authorized this winning to be paid to you via a Certified Cashier’s Check.

In order to proceed with this transaction, you will be required to contact the agent in-charge (Derek Roland) via e-mail. Kindly look below to find appropriate contact information:

CONTACT AGENT NAME: Bode Williams

James B. Comey
Director – FBI.”

TIPS

It is hard to win a lottery you have entered. It is impossible to win one that you never even entered.  Lottery scams are one of the most common and profitable scams done by scam artists.  No legitimate lottery requires you to pay administrative fees after you have won and no lottery collects income tax money for the IRS.  A legitimate lottery will either deduct your taxes from the prize before paying you or will, most often, provide you with the entire amount of the prize and it is your responsibility to pay the taxes to the IRS.  Also, never provide your personal information such as your Social Security number to anyone who tells you that you have won a lottery you did not enter.  They may tell you that they need this information to file with the IRS and legitimate lotteries do, but a scammer is only asking for you this information to make you a victim of identity theft.

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