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:
- "fund beneficiary" (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: "MR. MICHAEL L CORBAT" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "MR. MICHAEL L CORBAT" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2020 23:40:21 +0900
Subject: Attention Dear Beneficiary,
This is to let you know that United Nation has advised that all compensation fund will be paid using Citibank online platform because alot of fraudsters are using different types of name to scam innocent people's.
Right now the only person in charge of your compensation fund is Michael L Corbat and he will create online account on your behalf and credit your total fund of $3.9 million and the only fee this transaction will cost you is $125. We apologies for the delay of your payment and all the inconveniences we might put you through, while we were having some minor problems with our payment system which in all case not meeting up with fund beneficiary payments, we apologies once again.
>From the records of outstanding compensation payment with federal Government of U.S.A/Ecowas Court and Citibank your name was discovered as next on the list out of the 11 outstanding beneficiaries who have not yet received their payments during the 3 years tenure of the previous administration in office please bear with us for making this initial contact through email.
Your advise to reconfirm this information below for immediate opening of your account
Identify Card or Driver's license.........
Next of Kin
Remember to reply back to me with my email.