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:
- ",000,000" (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: "Gary Wegner" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2019 22:31:29 -0000
Subject: R: Reminder From Wegner
I think I contacted you 3 years ago but didnít follow up or direct you further on how to go about this. I got seriously sick and was under intensive care for all these years till now that I feel better.
My Name is Gary Wegner; I was dismissed from Umpqua Bank in 2012 because my wife and lawyer blackmailed me for doing extra deals within the bank. My sack earned me a two years jail terms and on return, my account which has $78,000,000.00 in it went dormant. When the account got dormant for a very long time, Federal Reserve Bank Escrowed the fund on the regular escrow agreement of 21% net interest annually, now I have about $180,000,000 that needs to be activated in Umpqua Bank.
All I am requesting from you is that you help me activate this account if I can persuade the bank through a written instruction to modify the account mandate and include you as the owner of the account even though they may not tamper with the original data of the account but should completely exclude me as applied to the case of the dead where another person is given a legal power to own and operate an account even when the account is not in his or her name?
I will give you all the details required to make this arrangement successful. You can also keep 20% of the fund when the deal is complete and pass the 80% to me.
Please help me out if you donít mind.