How the scam works:
(with video below) There are still people who fall victim to the FBI e-mail/notification aka James B. Comey scam, which has a few variations:
Scenario 1. Scammers pose themselves as FBI agents (or Interpol representatives) informing you that they tracked your computer and caught you visiting illegal websites. The scam notification might come via e-mail or a pop-up on your screen. You "get away" with only a small fine, which has to be paid by credit card or from your bank account.
Watch the video below to see in action the sneaky FBI Notification scam exposed:
The text of the e-mail/notification says:
"YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN LOCKED
This operating system is locked due to the violation of the federal laws of the United States of America! (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8; Article 202; Article 210 of the Criminal Code of U.S.A. provides for a depravation of liberty for four to twelve years.)
Following violations were detected: Your IP address was used to visit websites containing pornography, child pornography, zoophilia and child abuse. Your computer also contains video files with pornographic content, elements of violence and child pornography! Spam-messages with terrorist motives were also sent from your computer. This computer lock is aimed to stop your illegal activity.
To unlock the computer you are obliged to pay a fine of $200.
You have 72 hours to pay the fine, otherwise you will be arrested.
You must pay the fine through MoneyPak: To pay the fine, you should enter the digits resulting code, which is located on the back of your MoneyPak, in the payment form and press OK (if you have several codes, enter them one after the other and press OK. If an error occurs, send the codes to address email@example.com."
Most of the times when pulling this scam, criminals use the names of the real leaders of the FBI (James B. Comey) and Interpol (Mireille Ballestrazzi).
Scenario 2. Various winning notifications: You are informed that – according to their investigations – you are a winner of an online “balloting system”.
Scenario 3. You are asked by the same "agents" to help with catching internet impostors, while you are awarded for doing this "secret job". FBI logo and a signature of a representative make these e-mails look official and you are required to collect "your $80,000" by giving details of your bank account so that the money can be transferred. As an alternative to the “win” in the “ballot” scammers ask you to identify yourself for an investigation they are doing, or inform you that you are receiving an inheritance and need you to provide your personal information.
How to avoid the FBI Notification aka James B. Comey scam:
Let’s put it this way - if the real FBI has something to tell you, they will be at your door. You should never pay any fine via MoneyPak or Western Union. Scammers are just using the name of James B. Comey, the elected official to run FBI. In reality, James Brien Comey, Jr. is an American lawyer. He is the seventh and current Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was the United States Deputy Attorney General, serving in President George W. Bush's administration.
How to report the FBI Notification aka James B. Comey scam:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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Week February 13-19, 2017
Scam Detector Gives Back To The Community
Scam Detector recently partnered with Travel by Dart, an inspirational web-series where two friends blindfoldedly throw a dart at the world map and travel wherever it lands, with the purpose of helping the land or the people. Click HERE or on the image below to watch the trailer of the series!