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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Steven Duke, Director World Debt Reconciliation Agencies" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2018 13:21:48 +0100
Subject: Your outstanding fund $5.5Million transfer...
Message From Director Steven Duke
Address: Paseo De La Castellana 189. 29046 Madrid Spain
Your email was found in the central computer among the list of unpaid lotto compensation fund which was originated from Americans, Europe, Asia, plus Middle East, among the list of individuals and companies.
You are among the beneficiaries who will receive a contractual sum of $5.5Million and it has been approved last month. you are required to contact the agent in charge of your fund release documents with your full name, home address and cell phone number.
Contact Name: John Harrison
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: +229 630 91 501
I apologize to you on behalf of world debt reconciliation agencies for failure to pay your lotto funds in time which according to records in the system had been long overdue.
Director World Debt Reconciliation Agencies