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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "million us 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Citromail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Abdulhamid Saeed" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 2020 17:36:13 -0800
Subject: From CEO First Abu Dhabi Bank!!!
From the desk of Abdulhamid Saeed
CEO First Abu Dhabi Bank
Headquarters?: ?1 NBAD Tower,
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
This is to inform you officially that First Abu Dhabi Bank Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates has been instructed by a United Nation and World Bank organization, in conjunction with International Communities, to release your Covid 19 palliative Compensation Payment Project 2020.
Note, this is a result of the on-going Covid-19 Pandemic that has affected the whole World Economically and also a life threatening disease which Citizens are suffering from is financially and otherwise.
However, you are advised to comply with us and follow up our instructio carefully to enable us release your Corona-Virus palliative compensation Fund valued $5,000,000.00 (Five Million US Dollars) which is still unclaimed.
If you received this e-mail, it means you have been identified ane qualified by the United Nation Covid-19 Compensation Commission and duly awarded class action Settlement to the tone of US$5,000.000.00 (Five Million United States Dollars). In this regard, kindly reconfirm your below personal information to us for proper identification as we proceed to release your Fund to you with immediate effect.
(1) Your Full Name...................................
(2) Your Mobile Phone #..........................
(3) House Address...................................
(5) Marital Status:..................................
(5) Personal ID Card/ Passport:...............
Upon the proper confirmation of the above information, we shall start the process immediately to sign the approval of the release of your Covid 19 palliative Compensation Payment of $5 Million.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Yours in Service.
NOTE: You are to contact me via my direct email: email@example.com
Mr. Abdulhamid Saeed.
CEO First Abu Dhabi Bank