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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "HOMELAND SECURITY" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2016 06:36:21 -0500
Subject: URGENT!! MAYLANHSG
SECRET SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Good day, This is the Department of Homeland Security we have vital
mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face as well as
internet Fraud. This requires the dedication of more than 230,000
employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to
emergency response, from cyber security analyst to chemical facility
inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear -
keeping America safe.
We are happy to inform you that your funds valued at US$10,700,000.00
(Ten million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) have been
approved by the Treasury Department of the United States.
Kindly get back to us for further directives.
Note: Do not reply to any e-mail that comes from the FBI Director
James Comey Jr. The FBI director does not e-mail people; He
will rather send an agent to your door step in person. Do not fall a
victim of scam again, a word is enough for the wise.
Thank you and have a good day.
Joseph P Clancy
Director, United States Secret Service
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528,USA