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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Cynthia Mulligan" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2021 07:56:18 -0700
Subject: US$3,850,000.00 financial settlement to you, Ref No. FSC/VD2-LN/PY8.
Ref No: FSC/VD2-LN/PY8
We are not sure you received our previous message but once again we wish to use this medium to congratulate and inform you that you have been officially selected to receive a compensation amount of US$3,850,000.00 with Ref No.FSC/VD2-LN/PY8.
For details and guidelines to immediately receive your US$3,850,000.00, kindly contact our payment director, Mrs. Rosamund Clarke today directly by email, using the below information.
Name: Mrs.Rosamund Clarke
Direct E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: All correspondence should directly be sent to Mrs.Rosamund Clarke email (email@example.com) and must have the above stated reference number: FSC/VD2-LN/PY8, sent along with your telephone number for prompt attention.
Financial Services, UK