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July 18, 2008
CONTACT: Steve Hudak

FinCEN Reminds Public to be Aware of Financial Scams

VIENNA, Va. - The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is reminding the public to be alert to ongoing financial scams that attempt to solicit funds from unsuspecting victims.

In some of these scams, individuals misrepresent themselves as FinCEN officials and try to trick victims into revealing confidential information. These scams may involve the fraudulent use of FinCEN's seal in a letter or email that claims to be an official correspondence. These scams often involve the enticement of a phony inheritance or sum of money, and claim that FinCEN is holding or blocking the transfer of funds.

Recipients of these letters or emails should not respond to such messages, and should not send money or provide any personal or confidential information. Those who believe that they are or have been a victim of a financial scam, should report this information to local, state, or federal law enforcement authorities.

FinCEN does not send unsolicited requests and does not seek personal or financial information from members of the public. FinCEN does not have authority to freeze assets or block funds transfers. In addition, these fraudulent letters or emails may purport to be from an overseas office of FinCEN. FinCEN does not have any offices outside of the United States.

As part of its mission to deter and detect criminal activity, FinCEN devotes significant resources to the discovery and prevention of fraud. FinCEN supports law enforcement and regulatory agencies through the sharing and analysis of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) information. As illustrated in its most recent strategic analytical reports on the real estate, mortgage loan, and insurance industries, FinCEN is committed to detecting and preventing money laundering and fraud.

For additional information on money laundering scams, please see the following:


The mission of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is to safeguard the financial system from the abuses of financial crime, including terrorist financing, money laundering, and other illicit activity. We achieve this mission by: administering the Bank Secrecy Act; supporting law enforcement, intelligence, and regulatory agencies through sharing and analysis of financial intelligence; building global cooperation with our counterpart financial intelligence units; and networking people, ideas, and information.