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: "DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2019 15:21:23 -0800
Subject: MAKE THIS HOLIDAY A GREAT ONE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
Good day,This is the Department of Homeland S e c u r i t y we have vital mission,to secure the nation from the many threats we face as well as internet Fraud.Thisrequires the dedication of more than 230,000 employees in jobs that
range from aviation and border security to emergency response,from cyber security analyst to chemical facility inspector.Our dutiesare wide-ranging,but our goal is clear - keeping America safe.
We are happy to inform you that your f u n d s valued atUS$10,700,000.00(Ten million Seven Hundred Thousand United StatesDollars) have been approved by the Treasury Department of the United
States.Kindly get back to us for further directives.Reconfirm to us this information below,FULL NAME,ADDRESS,CELL PHONE #,OCCUPATION
Note:Do not reply to any e-mail that comes from the FBI Director James Comey Jr, Andrew G. McCabe,also the claimed new FBI DIRECTOR Christopher A. Wray,does not e-mail people,they will come straight to
your door step to pass any vital information they have for you.Do not fall a victim of scam again,a word is enough for the wise. Thank you and have a good day.
Mrs. Elaine Duke
Director,United States Secret Service
U.S. Department of Homeland
Security Washington, DC 20528,USA