fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Internet Crime Complaint Center" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 15:45:24 -0700
Subject: Contact UBA
IC3 Special Agent in Charge
Washington Field Office
Washington, D.C. 20535
June 01, 2012.
We receive complain today from the United Bank For Africa (UBA) that one Mr. Dirk Glock is claiming that you Authorized him to make claims of your US$3.8Million with their Bank.
Please contact United Bank For Africa (UBA) and clear this information he provided to them before they issue they approve the release of your fund to him, he stated to be your Next of Kin.
United Bank for Africa (UBA)
Finally, you should issue him an Authority Letter before directing him to act on your behalf.
Thanks for your understanding and co-operation
John G. Perren,
CC:National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).
CC:Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).
CC: Deputy Commissioner,
U.S. Customs and Border Protection.