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FBI warns of internet imposters

FBI warns of internet imposters

By Marco Villarreal. CREATED Aug 17, 2011

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV)- Everyone loves to win money. This is Las Vegas of course,  but federal officials are warning of a new scam intent on taking some of your money in exchange for big winnings. It's those same federal agents that say beware of anyone pretending to be them. 

One Valley resident asked Action news about an email he got from what appeared to be the FBI. In it Agent David Hanson claimes the resident has won $800,000 as a result of a foreign online balloting system. The lottery company deposited the money into Bank of America, and then contacted the FBI to "handle the issue" of cashing in.

Agent Hanson then asks for a "compulsory fee" of close to $700 be paid before the money won can get cashed. Along with instructions to send payment via Western Union is also a promise made by the FBI that "you have absolutely nothing to worry about..." and it's "100% fraud free."

The thing is, this email is 100% scam.

"The FBI is never going to contact an individual for a private matter that may deal with winning the lottery from a foreign government or any type of matter in that regard," says Special Agent David Schrom with the FBI.

Agent Schrom is with the real FBI and says these scams are not uncommon.

"If you just ask yourself, does this make sense? And you say no I don't think so, that seems to be sufficient for you to realize that this is a scam," says Agent Schrom. "The FBI logo is copyright protected by the FBI, however you can find it all over the internet."
As for Agent Hanson who says he is in Nigeria, he's in big trouble if he's ever caught.

"This is something that we do take seriously, and if there is any way that we can look at prosecution then it is considered," says Agent Schrom.

If you have gotten an email scam like this one you can report it to the FBI's internet complaint center here.