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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Stella Jacobson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2019 09:08:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Your Response
FROM MRS. STELLA JACOBSON
THE DIRECTOR OF WORLD DEBT RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE.
This is to inform you that arrangement has been put in place for you to receive your compensation fund of US$10.5M within the next seven working days.
It may interest you to know that we have successfully concluded arrangements with our corresponding paying Bank to transfer your long overdue compensation fund to you through electronic transfer into your bank account. This arrangement was made to ensure you receive your compensation fund immediately without any further delay.
We have already moved your payment file to the appropriate department of our paying bank and you will be directed on how to contact the bank as soon as you indicate your readiness to receive your compensation fund through them, please reconfirm your details stated herein below once again.
Your Full Names
Your Phone Numbers
You are advised to confirm your readiness to receive your fund through our affiliate corresponding paying bank so as to enable us forward the contact details of the bank and director in charge of the payment to you to enable you open communication with them for your fund transfer.
I await your urgent response.
Mrs. Stella Jacobson.