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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Margaret Donald" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2018 00:05:07 -0700
Subject: Re: Letter from Mrs. Margaret Donald From United State Of America
U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.
Address: 120-122 Wireless Rd
Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan,
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330,
Attention: Mr & Mrs,
I am Mrs. Margaret Donald, from United State Of America. I am contacting you With the reference to your entitlement fund and inline with the CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY'S APPLICATION, signed by Mrs. Glenda F. Ward with your purported authorization. This issue has been carefully examined and we have declined Mrs. Glenda F. Ward application as the application lacks regular signature. But Did you ever instruct Mrs Glenda F. Ward to claim your fund worth of US$38,000,000.00? Below is the bank account information provided by Mrs Glenda F. Ward saying that you authorized her to claim your fund that you are terminally ill.
1. BANK NAME: BANK OF AMERICA
2. BANK ADDRESS: Kerrville Texas 78028 USA
3. ACCOUNT #: 3202650
4. ROUTING #: 114922443
5. MRS. GLENDA F WARD
If you had not authorized the change of your bank account in respect to your outstanding entitlement Payment, therefore notify me immediately as the notification / declaration was supported with a sworn affidavit from Thailand high court ref: ilk /jj/202/k2017, dated 28th Jan 2017 and signed by Mrs. Glenda Ward who claim and stated in the sworn declaration that you authorized her to claim the said fund on your behalf to a different bank account in U.S.A as stated above because you were terminally ill and the Doctor who is in-charge of your case stated that you will not stay more than one Month before passing away. Listen and take advice. No charges or fee required, do you understand? If your still alive, active, kindly contact this department immediately and if there is any question you can send a letter to me as your representative.
Here is my direct contact Information:
You are advice to contact me here:
Name: Mrs. Margaret Donald
This development has caused lots of discrepancies in your payment file that is why Bank Of Thailand had to suspend your payment and prompted to contact you directly before re-validating your payment. You can be rest assured that I will do everything within my capacity to successfully actualize the quick transfer of your fund to any of your nominated bank account.
Kindly get back to me as soon as possible so that I will direct you on what to do.
Mrs. Margaret Donald
1500 Pennsylvania Ave
NW, Washington, DC 20220,
United States America.
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