Monday, November 17, 2008

Bold Con Man Scam: Scamsters Representing Themselves as FBI Agents and Officials

--Email Communications Include Photos of Director Mueller, Seal, Letterhead, and Banners

With all the sensitivity of a Medieval dentist, the con man, supposedly a member of the FBI, may contact you, with instructions.

Yes, with an invitation to participate in a totally bogus investigation.

Overreach? Probably. But, it's happening, and the FBI is very upset about it. Especially when the con man involved is so fearless that he will actually employ all the identifying insignia of the Agency--i.e Director Muller's photo, the Seal, Letterhead, even the Banners. Apparently some successes are being run up by this subterfuge. Speak softly and wear a loud shirt. This seems to be the underlying brashness. They believe that creativity is O.K., but plagiarism and infringement are faster and easier.

What kinds of schemes are promoted?

Inheritance notifications and lottery endorsements are the two most common. But, threat and extortion schemes also rank high. These often involve online auction scams. and, of course, all of the scams include the usual malicious computer program attachments (malware) designed to trap, isolate, and reveal your vital personal information for identity theft purposes. Too many freaks, not enough circuses? Talk about risk for the con man? This has to be about the highest ever. It's not hard to envision 100-year, throw-away-the-key sentences for this kind of crime.

A social Engineering technique?

Sure. You could call it that. The con man uses the FBI's name to intimidate and convince the recipient that the email is legitimate. That's a form of social engineering. Isn't it? One essential truism looming over all of this--the FBI does not send out emails soliciting information from citizens. The electric chair was invented by a dentist. Improbable? Hence, it could be that the con man thinks anything is possible. Is this the reason they play golf, maybe--so they can wear all the clothes they wouldn't otherwise be caught dead in?

Don't let the con man put anything over on you--not even an umbrella.

This whole presumption is so strange, so weird, so far out. You've got to wonder about the bewilderability level of it.

It's almost like making you feel that you must tape the wall mirror in your house so you don't accidentally walk through it and into another dimension.

29 comments:

Terry said...

Have you ever stopped to figure how we would be treated were we to impersonate an F.B.I. agent?

Instant death by firing squad or lethal injection.

Earl T. Clydson said...

Why are such overly clean conditions maintained for lethal injections?

Jack Payne said...

Terry, I think that chair invented by a dentist--the "Electric" chair is still in use, too, in some states. Your judgments seem harsh, but I hear where you are coming from.

Good question, Earl.

Clay said...

Don't forget, there are 3 sides to every triangle.

Torlette said...

This goes beyond just being Halloween scary. These people should be chased down by vigilanties, given a fair trial by their peers, surrounded by a circular firing squad, and shot.

Jack Payne said...

Clay, the triangle thing sailed right past me. Sorry, can't even comment on it.

Torlette, you seem to hit the same level of fear and loathing for this type scam as most of the people on this thread. My fears and longings be with you.

Ione Hesber said...

I'm with Earl. What's the sense of using sterilized needles for lethal injections?

Tamera said...

Absolutely incredible. However! I got a bogus phone call last week about something other than what is written about in your post here. Thanks to your previous posts, I was able to recognize it for what it was...thanks!

Jack Payne said...

Am glad some of my Archives stuff was able to help you, Tamera.

Lynn said...

I think I will have to tape my mirrors to play it safe.

Gene Kranik said...

Inheritance schemes are so big in this. I can't get over how the con boys think they can fool anybody with their talk about inheritances.

Jack Payne said...

Better than accidentally walking into the "Twilight Zone," Lynn.

Terry said...

Too many freaks, not enough circuses? Like that one too, Jack.

Ariel J said...

I knew a retired FBI agent who said they once were targeted by somebody impersonating them, and they were hell bent in the way they went after him. It was almost like you hear about in crimes where a cop is killed by the bad guys. They must take something like this real personally.

Jack Payne said...

Yeah, Ariel, that's the point I was trying to make. The FBI has so much pride in its operations, that they get bulldog tough with anybody who wants to step in and claim credit--especially as the means to a scam.

Kingston said...

Speak softly and wear a loud shirt. That ought to do them in every time

Swubird said...

Con Man:

Great advice. I've learned the hard way to never open an e-mail unless I personally know the sender.

Happy trails.

Robin Easton said...

You know Jack, like Tamera said, due to your posts I didn't get duped by a letter that looked exactly like the emails I get from my bank. They were saying there was some problem with my account and it could be quickly sorted out. All I had to do was give my specifics like pin number, account number, etc. And they would "handle" sort it all out and notify me. AND the clincher was: "Please deal with this matter immediately so that your account is not frozen."

I called me bank and they said it was a scam and that they do not ask for that info in emails.

Well, needless to say the scammers were going to "handle" it all right!! right into their pocket. LOL :)

So your posts are not only witty, funny and wise, they are very very helpful and practical. For that I am grateful. As I might not have seen that if I'd didn't read your posts. That is scary.

Thank you so much Jack for informing so many people. Also for all the times you have guided me and given wise spot-on advice.

You really are the best!
I mean that.
Hugs to you,
Robin

Jack Payne said...

That sure is overly cautious, Swu. I open junk email every day. Trick is, once opened, never click on anything inside it except the delete, save, or print buttons. Safest of the safe is to forget even considering the latter 2 and just hit the delete button.

Jack Payne said...

Robin, it always plain, flat-out bewilders me at how many people fall into this trap, of giving out vital personal information to solicitors over the internet. If it has to do with anything financial, best thing to do is look up an old statement, get the service phone number, and initiate your own phone call, to double-check it. So few people bother to do this most logical of logical things.

Swubird said...

Con Man:

Thanks for the tip. I thought viruses were released just upon opening an e-mail. So, I can open the mail, but I just can't click on any internal links?

Tanks again.

Happy trails.

Eileen said...

Hi Jack! It's me, Eileen, your new friend in myspace. Wow, your blog is very interesting. What made you choose this particular area? It seems like you know so much about this. With regard to the books that I like, I love to read books that inspire and encourage people. You see I was once in a deep depression. Thank God, it's all over. Hope to hear from you once again. God bless you!!!

Jack Payne said...

Swu, there might be some new thinking here, just now coming online. A new virus, merely clicked on, is raising its ugly head. It's threatening our whole national security system. The FBI is worried sick about this.

Looks like this whole clicking concept is about ready for a long, close re-examination.

Jack Payne said...

Welcome, Eileen. It was my book, Six Hours Past Thursday, writing about the exploits of a "legal" con man (the very worst kind) that pointed me into blogging about my past experiences as a business book writer.

Hope you'll be back. And, do check out the Archives. You'll find a lot of interesting stuff, reflecting scams that are going on--all around you--every day.

Spiritual Blogger said...

... and what's so bad about walking into another dimenson?? A door is there to walk through, isn't it?

One Time said...

Say, how come they never send me anything. All I ever get are emails from Nigerian princes.

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