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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Fred Terry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2021 00:04:46 -0700
Subject: WORLD DEBT RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE,UK
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF WORLD DEBT RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE,UK
FROM: MR. Fred Terry
Director World Debt Reconciliation Committee.
This is to inform you that we have decided to effect the payment of your
$10.5 HSBC BANK UK
It may interest you to know that we have successfully concluded
arrangements with HSBC BANK UK. to transfer your fund to you through
electronic transfer. This arrangement was made for easy transfer of your
fund to your bank account over there in your country.
We have already moved your payment file to the appropriate department of
HSBC BANK UK. and you will be directed on how to contact the bank as soon
as you indicate your readiness to receive your fund through them,please
reconfirm your details once again.
Your Full NAMES
Your Phone Numbers
You are hereby advised to confirm your readiness to receive your fund
through HSBC BANK UK shall send you the contact details of the director in
charge of payment in HSBC BANK UK. to enable you contact him for your fund
I look forward to hearing from you.
Dr Fred Terry