Kelly Hatmaker/Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  The latest effort to separate St. Louis residents from their hard-earned money comes in the form of an official-looking email from “FBI Agent Nicholas Story”.

It’s a fraud.

“First of all, the FBI does not send unsolicited emails,” Tom Metz, the FBI’s acting Special Agent In Charge for St. Louis, tells KMOX News.

And certainly not ones that promise to come down hard on recipients if they don’t accept the $850,000 reward they’re reportedly entitled to get as part of a settlement with “corrupt government officials in Nigeria”.

“Oftentimes these emails threaten penalties, prosecutions or even violence if recipients don’t respond,” Metz explains.

Several St. Louis area residents recently received the email that directs them to send a fee of $135 to claim their winnings, along with intimate personal and financial details about themselves.

A similar incident was reported last week by a resident of Dogtown.

In this version, however, the con artists phoned a senior citizen to set up a face-to-face meeting so they could collect their fee for transferring the big cash settlement.

The resident was supposed to buy three $500 pre-paid Visa cards from Walgreens in order to collect her winnings.

The FBI offers these tips to avoid becoming a victim of this or any scam:

* Be cautious of any unsolicited emails seeking personal information.

* Do not click any links or open any attachments in unsolicited emails. Your computer could become infected with malware.

* File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at


KMOX © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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