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:
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: ''Mr. Carter Burwell''<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 23 Jul 2021 14:58:06 +0300
Subject: Present Your Details for Supervisory Authorization To Release Your US$15, 500, 000.00
Attn: Funds Beneficiary,
With the ongoing abandoned payment exercise conducted by the U.S Dept of the Treasury, a memo has been sent to its consulate global offices to henceforth advise every foreign fund beneficiary to present their details for Supervisory Authorization appropriation and documentations for the immediate release of their funds.
You are required to quickly respond to this e-mail by providing your details requested below
1. Your Full Name:
2. Your Contact Address:
3. Your Phone Number:
Send your above requested details to this e-mail address < email@example.com >
Mr. Carter Burwell
Counselor to the Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury