FBI issues pair of email scam warnings

The FBI today issues a pair of alerts warning users to be on the lookout for a couple email scams making the rounds this week.

The first is an oldie but a goodie.  Fraudulent emails from the United States Department of State are being distributed claiming to have verified an inheritance from another country belonging to the victim. To make these emails appear legitimate, they contain information taken from the Department of State's website.

According to the FBI, the email contains a lengthy explanation of how the Department of State has verified that there is nothing fraudulent about the inheritance and names numerous international organization which are involved in monitoring the transaction to prevent fraud.

After using false assurances to gain a victim's confidence that this fraud scheme is actually a legitimate inheritance, the criminals send a request for a payment which the criminals claim is required due to a discrepancy in the currency conversion or for taxes. This email purports to be from a foreign governmental agency.

The criminals go so far as to follow up by advising the victim not to contact law enforcement or governmental authorities but to continue to communicate with the criminals' email accounts, the FBI stated. As with most of these fraudulent email scams, the bottom line is that the Department of State does not make unsolicited contact with individuals regarding matters such as inheritances.

The second alert has a whiff of the old Nigerian email scam.  This one comes from Amando M. Tetangco, the Governot of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, (Central Bank of the Philippines). The sender claims the recipient is the beneficiary of a large sum of money, free of any liens or encumbrances.

The recipient of the email is requested to confirm their first and last name; direct phone, fax and mobile phone number;  complete residential address,  occupation; age and sex.  After the victim provides/confirms that above information, they are asked for full bank account information in order to receive a wire transfer or a certified bank draft.

The email is bunk of course and a thinly veiled attempt to get your personal information. As usual the FBI asks people receiving these emails to send them to The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).The IRS and Federal Trade Commission  have  issued similar warnings in recent weeks.

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