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 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.
- 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: Mr David Nicholas <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 12:38:21 +0100
Subject: ATTN: My Dear
ATTN: My Dear
Good news,The BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION has actually verified and discovered
that your payment has been unnecessarily Delayed by corrupt officials of the
Company who are Trying to divert your fund of $4,700.000.00 Million
into their private
accounts. Therefore we have obtained an irrevocable payment guarantee on your
Payment with the Bank to make your payment through our new ATM VISA CARD
system which you can use to withdraw your money in any ATM MACHINE around your
So we are here by inviting you to our office to pick up your ATM VISA CARD but
if you cannot be able to come down here in our office in person be inform that
you are going to pay for shipping fee of your ATM visa CARD, so if you are
unable to come down here then you are required to update us so that we will
proceed with the necessary arrangement for the delivery of your ATM VISA CARD.
As of now be informed that all arrangement has been done and the ATM VISA CARD
has be in your name, but to RE-ACTIVATE the ATM Card you have to forward your
current information as requested below to the bank for the ATM Card re-
activcation, then we will send you the ATM CARD for your immediate use.
Here are the information you have to forward to the bank:
1. Your Full Names:______
2. Postal Address:_______
3. Direct Cell Numbers:_______
4. A copy of your id card----------
Therefore you are advised to contact Bank accountant Manager Mrs.Susan Mark
CONTACT PERSON: Mrs.Susan Mark
Direct line: +22990489892
E-mail:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Mr David Nicholas