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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Marlon Mayor" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 09 May 2020 14:32:07 -0700
Subject: Nice to meet you
Hello Good Day,
Are you a business-minded person, can you uphold financial transaction with utmost secrecy, sincerity, and seriousness? Your ability to respond and co-operate with me will be the beginning of more good financial deals between us.
My late client left no will, As his personal lawyer, was commissioned by his bank to search for relatives to whom the money left behind could be paid.
I have been looking for his relatives for the past 3 months continuously without success. Now I explain why I need your support. The transfer of funds to your account shall be lawfully executed with respect to the wire regulatory ethics guiding the transfer of huge funds from one country to another.
Due to the confidential nature of this financial deal.