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 united states 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +448715049889 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "PROF. DAVID HAMILTON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2020 12:29:12 +0100 (CET)
Subject: For Your Information
My name is Prof.David Hamilton ,I am a retired lawyer, I am searching for any family member of my late client Mr. Susumu who has the same family surname with you, his bank contacted me because they want to pay his funds (Fifty Million United States Dollars) to his family.
He died with his wife and two children in Miyagi Prefecture in Japan when the Tsunami Happened in Japan, he lived all his life in UK with his wife and two children, he only visited Japan that year for holiday and died with his wife and two children in the Tsunami.
There is no contact information of any of his relatives in his record with the bank, this is why I am contacting you to know if you are his relative.
I need your urgent reply about this please.
Prof. David Hamilton (RETIRED)
52 Denedin House, Manwood
street,Noth Woolwich,London E162LB
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This message and any attachments may contain confidential information and are established exclusively for his or its recipients. Any use of this message, for which it was not intended, any distribution orÂ any total or partial publication is prohibited unless previously approved. If you receive this message in error, please destroy it and immediately notify the sender thereof. OPTICAL CENTER declinesÂ all responsibility concerning this message if it has been altered or tampered with.