U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport intercepted packages containing documents announcing winners of $500,000 and $900,000 Facebook lotteries. The documents had been mailed from overseas addressed to people in Texas and Washington State.
CBP officers targeted the pair of large envelopes which originated from Nigeria. The envelopes contained what appeared to be documents certifying a pair of winners of a Facebook Lottery accompanied by insurance documents, an alleged FBI vetting letter and a pair of Bank of American ATM Cards. CBP officers quickly recognized the documents as phony and a clear attempt to trick people into wiring funds overseas in hopes of claiming winnings to a fake lottery.
In the documents, the winners are instructed to pay the government taxes in amounts of $10,000 and $25,000 to be able to collect their winnings and activate the ATM cards enclosed. The documents were also allegedly signed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and current FBI Director, Christopher Wray. However, a review of the documents revealed several typos and improper grammar used throughout. Officers also conducted research which revealed that the names of the alleged winners were elderly people in both states.
“It is tragic that criminal organizations overseas are targeting the elderly in the United States with scams like this one,” said Timothy M. Lemaux, CBP Area Port Director, Area Port of Dallas. “Our officers will continue to do their due diligence when inspecting all forms of arriving cargo and mail in an effort to prevent the American public from being duped by scammers overseas.”
CBP seized the documents and contacted the targeted individuals for awareness.
CBP routinely receives calls from the public regarding mail scams, phone scams and phishing attempts and residents are urged to not respond or provide the mailer or caller with any information. If such mail or calls are received, people should collect the documents or make a note of the number and any other pertinent details and report the incident to the authorities to investigate.