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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "required fee " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
Fraud email example:
From: "FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI." <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:52:30 +0000 (UTC)
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI.WASHINGTON DC.
WASHINGTON D.C ROOM,7367 J.EDGAR HOOVER FBI BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE,NW WASHINGTON, DC 20535,
We believe this notification meet you in a very good present state of mind and health.The Federal bureau of investigation (FBI) Washington, D.C in conjunction with some other relevant Investigations Agencies here in the United states of America,through our Global intelligence monitoring network,that you presently have some fundÂ worth of $3.5 Million dollar which Barry UjuÂ fromÂ WESTERN UNION could not be able to make the transfer to you,we have investigated and has confirmed your fund value of said amount which is in their office right now, we urge you to
go ahead to send the required fee to complete the transaction as you are directed by Barry Uju
Receivers Name:Â BARRY UJU
Address:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â LAGOS-NIGERIA
QUESTION TEXT:Â HOW SOON
ANSWER :Â Â Â Â Â Â Â NOW.
Amount:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â $235
Our intelligent monitoring unit in NIGERIA has found out that the fund is genuine and will be release to you once you meet up with Barry Uju requirement, however we advice you to send this requested fee to them so that your fund will be release and transfer to you,we must make it clear to you that Barry Uju is the only person you can trust or send money to because we have also Investigated him and found out that he is worth a trusting friend,therefore go ahead and send the money to him so that he will renew your file and transfer your fund to you,be informed that we are monitoring all your transactions. Stop dealing with any other person for your good.
Remember to reconfirm this information to us right now in other to help monitor all the incoming email you receive, fail to do so we will inform the Email account service to close it down.
Your full name............................
Email Account User name...................
Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation in advance as we earnestly await your urgent response to this matter.
FBI Director James B. Comey
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J.Edgar Hoover Building
935Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C.