The two email addresses I have through my websites, one associated with the SEB domain and one with Jenkins Online, attract a lot of spam and scam email every day. The ubiquitous Nigerian scam in all it’s myriad forms shows up almost daily and often on both email accounts within moments of each other, but today I got a new one I’ve never seen before. It purports to be from the FBI offering to help me to secure my inheritance from someone somewhere in Africa:
From: “FBI” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: INHERITANCE CLAIM ADVICE FROM FBI
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI. WASHINGTON DC.
FBI SEEKING TO WIRETAP INTERNET
During our recent investigations we found out that your inheritance transaction which originated from African is real and we advice that you go ahead by providing us with the required information so that we can work between you and Africa to make sure that as an American citizen that your entitlement is released to you without further delay.
Why we must be involved directly is that since the transaction is real, we must not allow the fraudulent activities of the African officials to affect you, so we are going to monitor all the procedures to the end and we will always advice you accordingly as we will not allow you to deal with the African offices directly. Every information that they need to pass across to you must be first received by the FBI before reaching you. This is to make sure that you do not loose a dollar carelessly.
You have to stop further dealings with any other office outside our office.
Fund Release Application Form
Reconfirm Your Information:
Marital Status: ____________________________________________________
Phone: __________________________Fax: ____________________________
Cell Phone: __________________________
By providing these information means that you have agreed to meet up all the required obligations as will be directed by the FBI concerning your fund transfer.
Long live America, long live her citizens.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FBI
Aside from the simple fact that the email address associated with this email doesn’t even come from a known FBI domain name — which would most likely be fbi.gov — the fact that whoever wrote it has a shaky grasp of English grammar is probably a big warning flag that this isn’t legit.
What I found fascinating is how it appears they’re trying to hustle someone else’s hustle. Consider that it assumes you’ve already received an email claiming you’re due an inheritance from someone in Africa and here the FBI is now telling you it’s not a scam at all, but you must let the FBI handle the transaction for you. In short they’re trying to steal someone else’s scam by convincing you to deal with them instead of the original scammers.
The actual routine will be the same. They’ll try to weasel as much personal information out of you that they can perhaps in hopes of getting hold of a bank account number or credit card or some other means of stealing your ID and, failing at that, they’ll tell you to send them money to cover various legal costs involved in getting the transaction completed and they’ll milk you for as long as they can.
Some of you people out there will actually be stupid enough to fall for it too because you lack the critical thinking skills that should have red flags popping up all over the landscape as soon as you saw the email.