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:
- "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: "US Custom House" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2018 09:25:44 -0800
Subject: Re: NOTICE FROM THE US CUSTOM HOUSE.
This office is writing to you to let you know that we have successfully bring all foreign transaction down here because of the complains and reports we are receiving that our dear citizens are being intimidating, cheating and depriving their legal right to their inherited, winning and contract funds from foreign country.
Therefore in proving American's greatness, all matter regarding local and international transactions from African, Europe, Asia etc has be released and a total funds of $58,700,000.00 United States Dollars is in your name according to the gathered files so far and you are to contact us today for the release and the claim of the funds if you are still interested to receive your funds as we have done our best to secure all the funds that was unable to transfer from foreign agents.
N:B After this clearing house, all unclaimed funds goes to Federal treasury as unclaimed funds as the beneficiary will be assumed dead.
W. Ralph Basham
@ Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House # 1 Bowling Green, New York, NY 10004, USA