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: "DPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 05:36:55 -0500
Subject: RE: CONGRATULATIONS !!! URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED.
SECRET SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
WASHINGTON, DC 20528,
This is the Department of Homeland Security. We have a vital mission which is to secure the nation from the many threats as well as Internet Fraud. This requires the dedication of more than 230,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border sector,On the July 31, 2017, I was appointed as the new and current United States Secretary of Homeland Security.
Today, I was going through the files I have on my desk which was not completed by Mr John F Kelly so I discovered that your file was among, I will like to know if you have received your funds valued at USD $950,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) I want you to know that your funds have been approved by the Treasury Department of the United States and is ready to be disburse to you.
I will need you to get back to me, so I can give you instructions on how to receive your Funds, since it was not completed by Mr.John F Kelly.
Ps . You are not required to pay any fee to claim your fund.
Thank you and have a good day.
Elaine C Duke
Secretary, United States Secret Service
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528