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:
- ",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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Nichole Raner ( AVP, Branch Manager - Central Region)" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 18:23:54 +0100
Subject: IMPORTANT From Nichole
1 Citizen Plaza Providence City,
Rhode Island 02903-1339 USA.
WhatsApp, TextMessages +1 (401) 405-4263
Greetings, This is Nichole Raner. We wish to inform you that we have received a directive from the Treasury Department to pay your withheld sum of US$3,000,000. The New U.S President has ordered all withheld and stopped fund/transfers be processed and released to their various owners/beneficiaries. We discovered an unpaid sum owed to you and some other individuals through Non-Contract Payment, Inheritance and Lottery Winning Prize Awards and have thus approved the sum US$3,000,000 for immediate payment through this bank to you.
It will interest you to know that this sum is approved to be transferred to you with immediate effect.
Reconfirm the below details for more information.
1. Full Names:
2. Residential Address:
3. Phone Number:
4. Any Means of Identification:
Reply to my private email: email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
I await your reply.
AVP, Branch Manager - Central Region,