George Crouch, acting special agent in charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, provides the following warning to serve as a public service announcement (PSA):
Recent reports to law enforcement indicate the re-emergence of an advance fee scam involving the Mega Millions Lottery and invoking the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) federal agencies as central to this scam.
Individuals are being contacted, to include very convincing memorandum from the above entities, and advised that they’ve won the lottery. The advance fee portion of the scam begins by requiring the “winner” to wire transfer thousands of dollars to the “lottery official” in order to secure the winnings. The documentation sent to the victim includes memorandum/stationary from the FBI and FDIC that serve as letters of authentication. In a recent scam targeting a southern Georgia resident, a photo purporting to show three FBI agents was sent as further proof of its legitimacy.
The FBI urges the public to remain vigilant to this scam and others like it that require advance fees via wire transfer or other means that make halting or even tracing a transaction almost impossible. In addition, neither the FBI nor FDIC provide “authentication” in such matters.