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February 2012


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Nigerian Scam Emails Mention FBI Officials

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel

I once got a Nigerian email scam telling me I was entitled to millions of dollars for FREE! All I had to do was give my name and bank account number and assist with moving the cash out of Nigeria.

I was a reporter at the time at the Washington Post. I responded with enthusiasm and  wrote something like: “This sounds great. Please contact me ASAP at 202.278-2000.” That was the phone number for the FBI Washington field office.

I got a response a short time later: “Mr. Lengel, how dare you give me the FBI number.”

I wrote back: “How dare you try to scam me.”

Well, apparently the Nigerian scam letter has gone the way of the FBI.

The FBI Baltimore field office issued a press release Monday that says: “The Baltimore FBI office is receiving a large number of telephone calls concerning e-mails supposedly from the FBI Director, the Baltimore Special Agent in Charge, or other top Bureau officials.

“These e-mails claim that you are the ‘rightful beneficiary’ of large sums of money wired from the Central Bank of Nigeria but intercepted by the FBI and that you can release the funds by obtaining your ‘Diplomatic Immunity Seal of Transfer’ through the Baltimore FBI office. The e-mails also threaten legal action against you, including arrest and detention, if you do not comply.

“These e-mails are not from the FBI and entirely fraudulent. Please do not respond to them or contact our office. Instead, please report this scam to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at”


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