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:
- "stamp duty" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2021 04:28:43 +0800
Subject: FAMILY PALLIATIVE PAYMENT REWARD.
This is to notify you that after a series of meetings with the United Nation and World-Bank including the World Health Organization we the IMF have decided to give out a Palliative Fund of $550,000 which will go directly to your account to sustain you and your family members during this hard time the world is facing.
This little Token to you and your family will only cost you $282 for Stamp Duty.
Please if you are not in need of this do not reply
Thanks and stay at home as the whole world is still looking for the solution as soon as possible and kindly send your whats-pp Number
IMF - International Monetary Fund
President of the European Central Bank
Managing Director Of The International Monetary Fund.