7 Signs that the FBI Lottery Email is a Scam

A friend of mine received the following email.  This is just one of many scam emails that are doing the rounds.

It purports to be from the FBI – which can give the impression it is an email recipients need to respond to – and it even invokes the name of the genuine FBI director Andrew McCabe.

Here are the clues that it is a scam:

  1. The FBI is a law enforcement agency not a lottery organiser.
  2. You did not buy a ticket.  If you did not enter the lottery, how can you have won a prize?
  3. It is not addressed to a specific individual.  An email relating to a genuine pay-out would be likely to be addressed to you personally.
  4. It is asking for you to send money up front as a “shipping fee”.  Any request for you to send money in order to “release a prize that you’ve won” should always ring alarm bells.  It will always be a scam.
  5. Poor grammar: “fee’s” with a grocer’s apostrophe is the most obvious example.
  6. A US lottery organiser is unlikely to be routing their payments to the UK via the Benin Republic.
  7. The agent in charge of handling pay-outs has a Zimbabwe email address ending in .zw rather than a US one.

If you receive an email like this one ignore it and do not respond.  Responding will only lead you to being put on a “suckers” list, which will be shared with other scammers so they can try their luck with parting you from your money.


Federal Bureau of Investigation F B I

Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division
FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J.Edgar Hoover Building 935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C.


Attn: Fund Beneficiary!!!

This e-mail has been issued to you in order to officially inform you that we have completed an investigation on an International Payment in which was issued to you by an International Lottery Company. With the help of our newly developed technology (International Monitoring Network System), we discovered that your e- mail address was automatically selected by an Online Balloting System, this has legally won you the sum of $4.8million USD from a Lottery Company outside the United States of America. During our investigation, we discovered that your e- mail won the money from an Online Balloting System and we have authorized this winning to be paid to you via INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT.

Normally, it will take up to five business days for an INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT by your local bank.
We have successfully notified this company on your behalf that funds are to be drawn from a registered bank within the world winded, to enable you cash the check instantly without any delay, henceforth the stated amount of $4.8million USD has been deposited with IMF.

We have completed this investigation and you are hereby approved to receive the winning prize as we have verified the entire transaction to be Safe and 100% risk free, due to the fact that the funds have been deposited with IMF you will be required to settle the following bills directly to the Lottery Agent in- charge of this transaction whom is located in Abomey-Calavi, Benin Republic. According to our discoveries, you were required to pay for the following,

(2) Shipping Fee’s ( This is the charge for shipping the Cashier’s Check to your home address) The total amount for everything is $96.00 We have tried our possible best to indicate that this $96.00 should be deducted from your winning prize but we found out that the funds have already been deposited to IMF and cannot be accessed by anyone apart from you the winner, therefore you will be required to pay the required fee’s to the Agent in-charge of this transaction In order to proceed with this transaction, you will be required to contact the agent in-charge (Mr.Mark Apuo) via e-mail.
Kindly look below to find appropriate contact information:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:mr.apuo.m@web.co.zw
PHONE NUMBER: +229-6137-0005

You will be required to e-mail him with the following information:
1. Name in full.
2. Address.
3. Nationality.
4. Age.
5. Occupation.
6. Phone No.
7. Present Country.
8. Fax [optional].
9. Email address.
10. Sex.

You will also be required to request Western Union or Money Gram details on how to send the required $96.00 in order to immediately ship your prize of $4.8 million USD via INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT from IMF, also include the following transaction code in order for him to immediately identify this transaction: EA2948-910.

This letter will serve as proof that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is authorizing you to pay the required $96.00 ONLY to Mr.Mark Apuo via information, in, which he shall send to you,

MR. Andrew McCabe
Federal Bureau of Investigation F B I
Yours in Service,Andrew McCabe
Acting Director Office of Public Affairs