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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Fred Momoh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2021 22:36:21 -0700
Subject: Dear Friend
I am Mr.Fred Momoh work with the department of Audit and accounting
manager here in the Bank.
Please i need your assistance for the transferring of thIs fund to
your bank account for both of us benefit for life time investment,
amount (US $ 15.5M DOLLARS).
I have every inquiry details to make the bank believe you and release
the fund in within 5 banking working days with your full co-operation
with me forsuccess.
Note / 50% for you why 50% for me after success of the transfer to your bank
Below information is what i need from you so will can be reaching each
1) Full name ...
2) Private telephone number ...
3) Age ...
4) Nationality ...
5) Occupation ...