Computer Crime Research Center


FBI warns residents of Internet scams

Date: September 30, 2004
By: Tim Younkman

FBI agents in Bay City are urging residents to watch out for telephone or mail scams that have bilked local people out of thousands of dollars.

The FBI's Mid-Michigan Area Computer Crimes Task Force issued a warning about a "work-at-home scam, an employment scam and a reshipping scam all rolled into one."

The bulletin advised that operators of the scam convince local residents that they are needed to help wire money quickly throughout the world, operating under the name "Xian Energy Sot," using a Web site of

Local FBI agents said a Bay City couple last week ended up losing thousands of dollars on the scam. The Web site advises that the business, allegedly based in California, is valid with proper documents and licenses.

The victims receive a check, ranging in amounts of $2,000 to $100,000, by way of FedEx that appears legitimate to deposit in their own bank account. The victim then is asked to wire transfer the entire amount, less 5 percent commission, to a foreign account.

After the transfer is made, the victim later finds out from the bank that the check is forged and they are responsible to repay the bank.

The task force has traced the money transfers to an account in Russia.

Anyone who is a victim of the scam should file a complaint online with the Internet Fraud Complainant Center at or call 1-800-251-7581. Keep copies of all correspondence for law enforcement follow-up.

Meanwhile, a local resident who asked not to be identified received another type of scam letter this week.

This one advised the recipient of a letter that the person had won $1.4 million Euro dollars in an international lottery based in Spain.
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