FBI: Terrorists using fake e-mails to purchase chemicals

According to an FBI advisory, several chemical companies have received purchase orders for bulk chemicals and equipment from individuals using fraudulent e-mail accounts in an attempt to pass themselves off as university representatives.

Many of these requests have been incorrectly deemed legitimate because they contain information commonly associated with university purchase orders. Perpetrators are assuming the identity of the individual legitimately associated with the university's finance or purchasing department. The fraudulent purchase orders often include language related to "Net 30" payment terms.

Fraudulent purchase orders associated with this scheme often share other similar identifying characteristics, including:

  • E-mails originating from domains such as edu.com or edu.us, as opposed to the standard .edu reserved for use by degree granting institutes of higher education
  • The shipping address appears to be unrelated to the purported requesting university, sometimes referencing out-of-state locations. For example, a University of Middle Delaware purchase order requests that shipment be sent to an address in Illinois.

The FBI continues to monitor fraudulent purchase orders targeting chemical and scientific supply companies. The FBI respectfully requests your assistance in identifying and mitigating threats associated with this fraud scheme by reporting any similar purchase orders to your local FBI WMD Coordinator.


  • Businesses will need new license endorsement to produce marijuana-infused edibles March 20, 2018
    OLYMPIA -- As of April 1, statutory authority to regulate the makers of marijuana edibles will be added to the administrative responsibilities of the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), a move that will require these businesses to apply for a special endorsement on their business licenses.
  • Public invited to review gypsy moth environmental documents March 7, 2018
    OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is now accepting public comments on a proposed plan to eradicate gypsy moths at two sites in Western Washington totaling 1,300 acres.
  • WSDA prepared to enforce Brassica seed regulations February 26, 2018
    The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is prepared to pursue legal action against Brassica seed growers who do not coordinate their growing locations with other growers. This has become an ongoing problem, especially in northwestern Washington counties, and is placing commercial seed growers at risk of cross-pollination, potentially reducing the value of their crops.
  • NE Washington Wolf-Livestock Grant Board awards five grants for wolf-livestock projects February 20, 2018
    OLYMPIA – The Northeast Washington Wolf-Livestock Grant Board has completed their evaluation process of the seven applications received for the Northeast Washington Wolf-Livestock Management Grant.
  • WSDA to hold “Ask the Expert” gypsy moth open houses February 7, 2018
    OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has scheduled three open houses in communities where it is proposing to conduct gypsy moth eradication treatments later this spring.