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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "SHERYLL GOEDERT" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2020 10:00:03 -0800
Subject: My donation to you and your family
My Name is Sheryll Goedert (Managing Member of Vacation Life LLC).
I am the winner of $396.9 million Powerball jackpot. I won on Jan 29,
This Winning is a blessing so we decided to give back to the society
which means we are officially notifying you that you have been
selected as one of the Beneficiaries of 2020 VACATION LIFE LLC Social
Responsibility Cash Aid Program.
Your e-mail address was randomly chosen by the Topaz Ballot System.
You have been awarded the sum of $500,000USD by VACATION LIFE LLC.
Should you wish to verify, below are links to that effect.
I only Hope you will be able to help others around you,contact my legal representative via ( email@example.com ) for more information on how to get the donated amount.