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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Edward Kallon" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2021 10:42:13 +0100
Subject: We hereby wish to announce and congratulate you
We hereby wish to announce and congratulate you on your payment
approval, released and awarded to you by the "Economic Community Of West
African States" (ECOWAS). Therefore, you are entitled to receive a sum
of (US$5.5m) as compensation by the (ECOWAS). Furthermore, you will
receive your fund/payment through an "Automated Teller Machine"(ATM
MASTER CARD). Pls note, that your ATM CARD has been processed, uploaded
and now ready for immediate delivery to you through your PAYMENT AGENT,
MR. JOHAN BRUYNEEL. Therefore, kindly contact your Payment Agent, MR.
JOHAN BRUYNEEL immediately & try to re-confirm and forward your details
and information to him for due verification & confirmation and in order
to proceed on your ATM CARD delivery to you immediately.
Below is his personal & direct contact details/information:
Contact Person: Johan Bruyneel
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not hesitate to contact MR. JOHAN BRUYNEEL immediately with the above
information forwarded for the collection/delivering of your ATM CARD to
you upon receiving this email and message. And finally, try to
re-confirm and forward your details and information to him for proper
and official identification in order to proceed on your ATM CARD
delivery to you immediately. Do reconfirm and forward the following
details and information below,
1] YOUR FULL NAME:====================2] RESIDENTIAL/DELIVERY ADDRESS:=========3] TELEPHONE NUMBER:==================4] VALID ID CARD:=======================
Once again, congratulations and good luck. Urgent response and
compliance will be highly appreciated.
Mr. Edward Kallon
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator
UN Payment Coordinator & UNDP Representative