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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Morris Morgan OCC" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:36:13 -0700
Subject: PLEASE DO CONFIRM THIS AUTHORIZATION!
I am Mr.Morris Morgan Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Operating Officer United States Of America (OCC) you can read more about me here:
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is an independent bureau within the United States Department of the Treasury that was established by the National Currency Act of 1863 and serves to charter, regulate, and supervise all national banks and thrift institutions and the federally licensed branches and agencies of foreign/local banks in the United States.
A directive has been issued to us to settle all outstanding payments accrued to individuals with respect to local and overseas contract payment, debt re-scheduling and outstanding compensation payment. We have been notified that you are yet to receive your fund. Fortunately, you have been selected alongside a few other beneficiaries to receive your own payment of $1,500,000.00 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only). This money will hence be transferred to your nominated bank account.
To our surprise One Mrs Brenda Miller wrote us that you asked her to claim the funds and presented below account details for the funds transfer:
Bank name : Wells fargo...,
Account name :Brenda Keepers
Bank Address : 7600 W Hampton Ave Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53218
Most importantly, confirm to us urgently if you gave permission to Mrs Brenda Miller to claim the fund on your behalf and if case you did not authorize anybody, then, You will have to stop communicating with the impersonators and the organizations, because they are trying to divert your fund to themselves. She tries, so hard to change the fund ownership to her name.
Await your response:
Senior Deputy Comptroller
and Chief Operating Officer
United States Of America (OCC).