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:
- "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)
- "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.
- 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: "Mr. Michael Lopez." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2019 08:45:34 -0700
Subject: CONTACT BANK OF AFRICA FOR YOUR TRANSFER
Attn : Beneficiary,
We have been authorized by the United Nations secretary general (UNSG) Dr. António Guterres to investigate the delay on your payment transfer and we discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt officials who have been trying to divert your funds to their private accounts abroad. A swift transfer of your total funds $4.5 Million dollars has been arranged with Bank Of Africa to avoid the undue delay because an irrevocable payment approval has been endorsed by the World Bank Group/IMF board hence contact the Manager of Bank Of Africa with information below to process your transfer immediately.
Manager : Mr. Abdekabir Bennani.
E-mail : ( email@example.com )
Telephone : +22965579817
We expect your urgent attention to enable us monitor this payment effectively. Mr. Abdekabir Bennani guide you to receive the transfer within Three days.
Mr. Michael Lopez.
UN payment coordinator- USA