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)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (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: "Prince Okons" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Account email@example.com
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2020 14:11:29 +0200
Subject: Please get back to me,
My names are Prince Okon's, I have packaged a transaction that
will be of mutual benefit to both of us.
I want you to help my family received and invest the sum of
USD$10.5Million dollars my late father deposited in a bank here before
his sudden death. My father died early this year when he contracted
corona virus ( covid-19 ) when he visited Germany in a search for
foreign investor. He came back and fail sick and died two weeks later.
My mother and I want this funds to be transferred and invested in your
country through your assistance and directive, 30% of this funds is
your percentage for assisting us.
This funds transaction is 100% genuine and free risk. There is nothing
to be afraid of.
Please get back to me through this email address:
firstname.lastname@example.org ,for more details