Public Service Announcement

Prepared by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

December 10, 2008
FBI Logo

Flurry of Spam Targeting the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Consumers continue to be inundated by spam purportedly from the FBI. As with previous spam attacks, the latest versions use the names of several high ranking executives within the FBI and even the IC3 to attempt to defraud consumers.

Many of the spam e-mails currently in circulation claim to be an "official order" from the FBI's Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division, from an alleged FBI unit in Nigeria, confirm an inheritance or contain a lottery notification, all informing recipients they have been named the beneficiary of millions of dollars. To claim the large sum, recipients are instructed to furnish their personally identifiable information (PII) and are often threatened with some type of penalty, such as prosecution, if they fail to do so. Specific PII information requested includes, but is not limited to, the recipient's name, banking information, telephone number, and a copy of their passport.

The spam e-mail allegedly from the IC3 states that the recipient has extorted money and will be given a limited amount of time to refund the money or face prosecution.

Do not respond. These e-mails are a hoax.

The FBI does not send unsolicited e-mails of this nature. FBI Executives are briefed on numerous investigations but do not personally contact consumers regarding such matters. In addition, the IC3 does not send threatening letters to consumers demanding payments for Internet crimes.

Consumers should not respond to any unsolicited e-mails or click on any embedded links associated with such e-mails, as they may contain viruses or malware.

It is imperative consumers guard their PII. Providing your PII will compromise your identity!

If you have been a victim of Internet crime, please file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.

For previous PSAs concerning e-mail scams targeting the FBI and other government agencies: