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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Frances & Patrick Connolly" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2021 00:08:03 -0700
Subject: Grant donation of 1,500,000.00 pounds!
Our Names are Frances and Patrick Connolly from County Armagh in
Northern Ireland. We Just Won 115 Million Pounds from the
EuroMillions lottery jackpot Lottery draw. We are therefore giving out
Grant donation of 1,500,000.00 pounds each to (50) Lucky
international recipients worldwide to show God our appreciation. You
received this message because you have be listed as one of the (50)
lucky Individual Selected.
Kindly send us the below details so that we can transfer your
1,500,000.00 pounds in your name or direct our bank to effect the
transfer of the funds to your operational bank account in your country.
Kindly visit the link for more details about the Winning;
Send your response to (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Congratulation to You.
Frances & Patrick Connolly