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:
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: "Victor" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2021 03:30:12 -0700
Subject: Your ATM card
SCAMMED VICTIM USD1 MILLION BENEFICIARY..
We have arrested all the fraud people that has been cheating you and
collecting your money here in Lagos Nigeria we are the new ATM CARD office
here in Lagos Nigeria now your ATM CARD will reach your hand
today or tomorrow it will cost you only $257 that is all once
this fees is paid we will give you delivery tracking number to enable
you know when it reach your home.
This is the Name where you can make the payment.
Receiver Name:Austin Ogbogu
Location: Lagos Nigeria.
Your Sender name..
Your sender address.
Send the fee through Ria money transfer or by Small world or World Remit..
Send the payment details to Mr.John Moore for the processing of your ATM card delivery e-mail:email@example.com