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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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: "FBI HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C." (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2017 13:08:57 -0800
Subject: FBI HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
ANTI-TERRORIST AND MONETARY CRIMES DIVISION
FBI HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535-0001
This is to officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an investigation with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that your e-mail address was among the email that won this year UK National lottery award which you did not claim, we want to let you know that one of the bank worker where your fund was deposited arrange with his friend to come as the owner of the e-mail that won the prize which they claim your fund, but now your fund has been recovered from them and the people that claim your fund has been arrested. If you receive any e-mail that you did not understand that is from unknown person to you please do forward it to us to verify and bring the person to justice.
We have gone through your Identification record and we have verified a lot of things about you. It has come to the attention of our Money Trafficking investigation department, that you have some funds valued $800,000.00 USD on your name, The said payment is awaiting adjudication and we have authorized this winning to be paid to you, this funds are from UK NATIONAL LOTTERY.
Re-confirm, Names, Address, Phone Number, Age/sex, Occupation and Country, to avoid double claim of your fund.
AWAITS YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE
James B Comey