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:
- ",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: " U.S. Department of Justice" <SUPPORT@MAIL.COM >
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2020 16:26:16 -0800
Subject: PROGRESSIVE PAYMENT CONFIRMATION!
Washington D.C., Dec 21, 2020.
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Attorney General Line: 202-830-3302
Re: Filing an Application of Claim for the sum of $6,500,000.00 .
Acting in my capacity as the 85th and current United States Attorney General (A.G.), I am privileged to inform you that an Application of Claim for the sum of $6,500,000.00 being your approved nominee beneficial payment has been filed in your favor today (Monday, Dec 21, 2020) with the U.S. Department of the Treasury following an ex-parte order ruled in your favor by the U.S. Department of Justice.
However, in a bid to process your Application of Claim for the $6,500,000.00 and implement the transfer process in a professional manner, I humbly ask you to submit the details of your receiving bank account directly to my office via email.
I will personally oversee the supervision of your payment processing myself until the $6,500,000.00 is paid/credited into your bank account. I have gone through your payment file and I have found several irregularities with your payment processing. Hence, I was determined and committed to handle your payment processing myself until the funds are paid into your bank account.
If you need to speak with me directly on the phone for any inquiry regarding your payment, you can text me at 202-830-3302.
Looking forward to receiving your earliest reply.
Jeffrey A. Rosen
U.S. Attorney General