Beware of the FBI Scam Email

A new e-mail scam tells victims that the FBI has learned their name is on a scammers list, and that they must pay money to get their name removed.

Ann, a Colorado Springs woman, has been getting e-mails for a few weeks now. They claim to be from Special Investigator Gary Walker, with the FBI seal and even a photo of FBI Director Robert Mueller on them.

Ann did as she was told in the message and first paid $175, but then the successive e-mails kept demanding more money.

Not only did they promise to clear her name, but compensate her to the tune of more than $1 million.

Soon, Ann was out close to $5,000 and feeling suspicious.

She says, "The FBI! I just couldn't believe the FBI would be something wrong."

Instead of being the FBI, the e-mails were actually coming from crooks in West Africa.

Ann's relatives didn't even know what had happened because the scammer had told her not to talk about it.

Ann's daughter Linda says, "Maybe if she had said something to me about it I could've said, 'Mom are you sure?'"

Bill Hill, a member of the Colorado Springs Police Department's Senior Victim Assistance Team, told Ann, "There are a lot of these things going on here in the Springs."

Now, Ann's trying to pick up the pieces. She wiped out her savings account and is hoping others will learn from what's happened to her.

Just remember, the FBI never contacts people by e-mail and they never, ever will ask for cash.

If you ever have questions about the legitimacy of an e-mail, phone call, or letter feel free to make a Call for Action. The hotline is open Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The number to dial is 457-8211.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 26, 2012 at 05:05 PM
    report the scam email to www.emailbusters.org, and to those that say "don't give money to anyone/someone" etc. you need to consider that the lady firmly believed it was FBI. We can't judge the person and say we feel no sympathy, scams like this can happen to anyone. Person that gets mugged is an idiot because he was "to weak" to defend him/herself? Too weak or too dumb has no place here, blame the crooks not the victims!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 26, 2012 at 09:09 AM
    Stupid is as stupid does...
  • by ME Location: Colo Springs on Jan 26, 2012 at 06:18 AM
    I really feel no sympathy for people like this, don't give out money just because someone says gimmie.
  • by Allison on Jan 26, 2012 at 05:45 AM
    Really,what was this lady thinking about when she started giving money over the internet. how many time has the media told, "The general public to not give any of your money over the internet." Secondly the FBI would of given you a number to call to talk to a person and a certified letter in the mail, not over the internet.
  • by Dale Location: Palmer Park on Jan 26, 2012 at 05:20 AM
    This email has been going around for several years. The first time I received it I called the FBI, and they assured me that it was a scam. You would think that the FBI would investigate this and put a stop to it.
  • by Tony Location: Southside on Jan 26, 2012 at 02:34 AM
    There is one born every day and the Nigerians know it!
  • by Greg Location: Castle Rock on Jan 26, 2012 at 02:07 AM
    Yeah! Since when does the FBI ask for money? They just take it.
  • by H. on Jan 25, 2012 at 10:19 PM
    Hard to believe that anyone thinking correctly, would fall for that! As Amazed said, since when does the FBI ask for money? Anybody can get your email address if they pay for it.
  • by Amazed... on Jan 25, 2012 at 09:51 PM
    Not to make light of this womans misfortune, but I'm amazed that at this day and age people still get taken in by these scams. It seems that "critical thinking" has disappeared from most peoples thought process. If you get an e-mail like this, just ask yourself: Would the FBI really contact me about something so important by e-mail? And how did they get my e-mail address? And since when does the FBI ask for money? It takes just a few minutes of thinking things through to figure things out. And if you're still not sure, pick up the phone and call (or go to) the nearest FBI office...
  • by Critic at small on Jan 25, 2012 at 09:17 PM
    Apparently not a very effective junk mail filter on her e mail....How can anyone be so naive other than not being experienced with e-mail?
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