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FBI Warns Against Internet Scams

The FBI has recently received reports of two scams circulating within Central Illinois . Consumers can avoid victimization through awareness, weeding out fraud before it takes root.

Fraudulent telemarketing scams are estimated to cost over 40 billion dollars a year. The Department of Justice estimates the number of American consumers defrauded each year by fraudulent telemarketing at one in six.

Phishing using automated telephone calls

One scam is a form of phishing which involves an automated telephone call that appears to originate from a financial institution. The recording requests the victim to enter his or her debit card number for the purpose of reactivating the debit card. Consumers should avoid providing personal information over the phone in response to an unsolicited telephone call. Like many phishing scams, the victim may not even have an account at the financial institution. However, if the scammer is successful in finding a handful of responsive victims who do have an account at the claimed bank, the scam will generate revenue. When in doubt, contact your bank in person, or at a number you know to be valid.

Nigerian Letter Variation

A second scheme recently reported involves another variation of the Nigerian letter scam. For years, letters appearing to originate from Nigeria have circulated through the mail, over fax machines, and over e-mail. These letters claim to come from a prominent individual or company with access to a substantial sum of money. The writer purports to need someone with a bank account outside Nigeria to facilitate recovery of this large sum of money.
The most recent Nigerian letter claims to be from the “Anti Terrorist & Monetory (sic) Crime Division.” As with most spam, the content contains elements which are indicative of fraud such as:

  • Multiple spelling errors;
  • Poor grammar;
  • Government agency names;
  • Names and titles of officials, to appear authentic.
  • If you have received a scam e-mail, please notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by filing a complaint at For more information on e-scams, please visit the FBI’s New E-Scams and Warnings webpage. From the Springfield FBI

    You cannot be too careful. Play it safe. Don’t divulge credit/debit card information unless you know the person on the other line. Don’t click links on suspicious emails. Visit the FBI’s website and educate yourself against those wishing to scam you out of your hard earned money.


    June 30, 2008 Posted by | Misc., Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment