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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Jenifer Bailey" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2020 04:50:51 -0700
Subject: Dear Friend,
My name is Mrs .Jenifer Bailey and presently i am the Branch Manager of the bank were i work.There is in existence some funds that belongs to a customer who died several years back.I have contacted you because he may bears the same last name with you and he left an inheritance presently without any claim up till date. The said funds have been here in our bank for many years without any claim.
Get back to me on my direct email address and i will give you the full details of my proposal.
I will await your positive response to this mail as soon as possible.
Mrs. Jenifer Bailey