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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Wendy M. Barnett" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2017 10:10:39 -0700
Subject: URGENT (funds)
From: Col. Wendy M. Barnett
Hello, this is Ms. Wendy Barnett, Colonel of the U.S. Army deployed to Afghanistan.
It will interest you to know that I have appointed you as my beneficiary to receive ($20Million USD) for investment and/or safekeeping purposes.
The money is contained in two military security boxes which has just arrived the JFK Airport New York, USA; and its ready for onward transshipment to your any provided address (Door-Step).
My desire and purpose is to have the U.S Military Air & Surface Transportation Company (Stedor Continental) New York to deliver the two boxes to you or to any overseas address under your supervision as long as I am assured that it will be safe in your care until I return home.
PLEASE reply immediately with your delivery address, full name and contact information; the deal is 60%/40% split ($12m for me, and $8m for you); I am not a greedy woman and I hope you will not double cross a single mother who have sacrifice her life in serving our great nation;
God bless you as you extend your helping hand to the needy!
Wendy M. Barnett (Mrs.), Deputy Director,