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: "CHARLES GOODMAN" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2021 15:16:06 -0700
Subject: VERY URGENT GOOD NEWS FROM BANK OF AMERICA REPLY ASAP
Congratulations!! Your payment has been approved and endorsed, with the
instruction and approvals are given from the Authorities Due to the
incessant scam activities going around the globe, the Authorities has
instructed our Financial Institution to use high Performance in
Banking System to set up a Personal Online Banking Account.
The sum of US$15,500,000.00 was deposited in our bank, The Management
has resolved to open Personal On-line Banking Account for you with our
bank and then give you on-line access which will enable you to
check and make electronics wire transfer out to any part of the world
of your choice.
Kindly send the below information to enable us to set the account open for you.
Direct Cellphone Number:..........
PASSPORT AND ID CARDS:.................
DATE OF BIRTH..............
Looking forward to your next letter
Thanks for banking with us,
A/C Online Payment Officer,
US Capital Bank Branch North Carolina,
United States of America