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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "GONZALO AYALA" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2019 05:37:02 -0700
Subject: GRANT ALLOCATION FUNDS.
600 Fifth Ave. 17th Floor New York, NY 10020 United States Of America
It is notable to inform you that we The Savoy Bank just received official permission from The President of the General Assembly of the United Nations with instructions that we commence the immediate processing and transfer of your Grant Allocation Benefits Award .
The Fund is unpaid sum owed to you and some other individuals through Non-Contract Payment, Inheritance and other people affected by Hurricane, wildfire, Flood, Earthquake, Typhoon etc and has thus approved the sum US$5,000,000 for you.
You are to fill out the below requested information to enable us complete the verification process and release your fund to you.
Your Full Name:
Direct Telephone/Cellphone number:
This message is as a result of the approval in your favor. You are advised to comply promptly to expedite the verification and release. .
Note: If you are not able to process and receive your fund within 7 working days, your funds will be considered unclaimed and funds moved to the government treasury.
Have a blessed day. I await for your reply soon.
Mr Gonzalo Ayala