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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Ecitic Bank of China" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 08:36:29 -0800
Subject: Your Cooperation is Needed!!!.
Hello Email User,
Compliments of the season, i hope you are in good health.I am a banker with a financial institution here in China and I am writing to you for an opportunity that will benefit us both immensely. I have discovered an unclaimed inheritance fund of Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only and I wish to lay down your name as the next of kin to the amount in question due to the death of the depositor who died years ago along with her family.
However, i assure you that will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law both in your country and here in china once the fund is transferred to your bank account.The funds i am referring to is right here in this bank floating in a suspense account, therefore i solicit for your cooperation to be in collaboration with me to have this done. If you are interested in this transaction, I will need you to provide the following information urgently to enable the attorney to start the processing of all the relevant legal documents for the money remittance. All i want you to do for me now is to give me your Name:, Address:, Tel :, Age:, Sex :, Occupation: so that i can give you more details.
Send email to : email@example.com
I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible
Ecitic Bank of China.