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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Kelvin Aguma" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2020 17:26:39 -0700
Subject: ATTENTION BENEFICIARY
This is to bring to your notice that during the quarter of the year audit and
File revision of this bank United BANK OF AFRICA in the fiscal year 2019
ended, A total sum of Three Million Five Hundred Thousand $3.5 Million united
state dollars was discovered in this bank in your name as the beneficiary.
This fund was deposited by the ministry of finance as your E-mail address
and names won you the draw and have you as apparent heir to it. You are
therefore by this notice required to provide this bank with your mode of
receiving these fund from us. We have two options to transfer your fund to
you, first is through BANK to BANK transfer second is by uploading your fund
Into an ATM CARD and send it to your address. Therefore indicate to us your
Choice of receiving your fund from us Or your address where your card can be
Deliver. We shall anticipate your quick response. Regarding your irrevocable
Payment of $3.5 million via any of your choice Bank to Bank wire transfer,
Sincerely, Mr Kelvin Aguma Customer Care
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