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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Agent Maron Duk (FBI)" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2019 21:20:17 +0100
Subject: YOUR COMPENSATION FUND OF $3.8 MILLION USD IS READY FOR YOU TO RECEIVE
Federal Bureau Of Investigations
Headquarters Washington Dc.
Building 935 Pennsylvania Ave.
NW WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535-0001
NOTICE OF ONGOING INVESTIGATION
This is agent Maron Duk,we were sent by the Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) CHRISTOPHER WRAY, we are currently in Africa as an FBI/ United States delegate that have been delegated to investigate these fraudsters who are in the business of swindling Foreigners that has transactions in Africa.
Be informed that during our investigations we found out that there is a total amount of $3.8 Million that has been assigned in your name as the beneficiary and these fraudsters are busy swindling you without any hope of receiving your fund, these are the works of the fraudsters and scammers who needed to extort money from you in the name of this transfer, We have to inform you that we have arrested some men in respect of this delayed overdue fund,We have a very limited time to stay in Africa here so I advise you urgently respond to this message.
These criminals will be caught unaware and we don't want them to know this new development to avoid jeopardizing our investigation, you need to conceal anything that has to do with this exercise to enable us get all the necessary information we required.
I will be expecting your swift response as soon as you receive this email and notify us of any message or phone call you receive from those fraudsters and scammers for us to investigate on it before you make any contact with them.
In case if found this message in spam folder, it could be due to your Internet Service Provider, ISP. So kindly move to your inbox before replying.
Please Reply me on my E-Mail Address
We are here to save and serve you better.
Agent Maron Duk(FBI)
Cyber Crime Division