THE SCAM: FBI giveaway
HOW IT WORKS: When it comes to scams, most people would think of the FBI as an agency that targets fraud, not perpetrates it. So a new e-mail making the rounds might catch some consumers unaware. In it, the would-be victim receives an e-mail that purports to be from the FBI. An "agent" claims that the bureau noticed through bank monitoring that the recipient is supposed to receive an inheritance award through Barclays Bank. The letter suggests that the recipient may have tried to get this money through unlawful means, and urges the target to go through the bank directly, by writing to another e-mail address. Doing so is likely to bring about a request for a bank account number or other personal information that could be compromised.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: Your bank account
HOW TO BEAT IT: Secrecy battles aside, it's unlikely the FBI would contact you by e-mail over suspicious banking transactions. And further, any time you're promised free money, but with a catch, there's reason to be suspicious. Do not respond to the e-mail or to the second address it urges you to contact.
Contact Bee staff writer Ben van der Meer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2331.