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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: John Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2020 12:19:22 +0100
I'm the delivery agent assigned to dispatch your package. I have
successfully arrived this morning at Jacksonville International Airport
Florida with your package which worth the sum US$1.5 Million Dollars,
However, am waiting for you to get back to me with your delivery Address
because once I finish up with some delivery I have here in Florida I will
immediately proceed to your address to deliver your package to you.
Try and get back to me today or call me with this number (209) 215-3451
because if I did not hear from you once I finish up with delivery I have
here in Florida then I will immediately go back because I don't have much
time to waste.
Thanks and God Bless You.