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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "clearance 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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: TNT Jakarta Indonesia <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 17:17:19 +0200
Subject: FYA/From TNT Jakarta Indonesia
We write to remind you that through our record, we discovered that you have a pending delivery with us of which we are still anticipating
your cooperation by sending the mandatory clearance fee to enable us dispatch your parcel to you.
We have sent you the receiving information for the requisite clearance fee of the amount of US$410.0 which we expect to receive as you had
been informed by the sender earlier moreover, if you wish it re-sent, let us know urgently.
Once again we anticipate your cooperation and urgent response to enable us deliver your parcel within 48hrs.
Thanks for your co-operation.
Jody Sue Ochs
(Transport Manager TNT Jakarta Indonesia).