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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "security keeping fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million dollars" (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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- director name: mr. benjamin moore director email: office email: phone: +1 (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. David Christopher" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:22:51 -0300
Subject: Attention Dear Beneficiary
Your ATM Card that worth $ 12.5 million dollars has been approved
to delivered to you through via FedEx company and it has been
deposited with FedEx shipping company this morning for registration, and
we agreed that your ATM Card Package will take off tomorrow morning. So
contact them with your full info where your ATM card will be delivered
(1) Full name ---------
(2) Direct telephone number ------
(3) Country -------
(4) Delivery address -----------
(5) City -------------------
(6)Nearness airport ---------------
Here is the deposit information below
Director Name: Mr. Benjamin Moore
Director Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Office email: <email@example.com>
Phone: +1 (802) 266-1692
Deposit Code: (# FedEx # 0995)
Urgent contact them today with your full address where your ATM card
will be delivered The amount in your Card is $ 12.5 Million and yours
Pin code is: (0085).
The only Money you will pay to them is their Security Keeping fee, I for
pay the security keeping fee but they told me they did not know how
it will be accumulated before you contact them. because the security
keeping fee will be increasing every day. so i will advise you to
them as soon as you receive this email to avoid much charges.
Mr. David Christopher