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 united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Patrick Walker" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2021 10:45:14 -0700
GOOD DAY DEAR
THIS IS MR.PATRICK WALKER YOUR DELIVERY AGENT THIS IS THE 2ND TIMES I
THIS EMAIL IN REGARD OF YOUR FUND THAT WORTH A SUM OF 80MILLION UNITED STATE
DOLLARS I DONâT KNOW WHY YOU DONâT WANT TO REPLY BACK TO ME IS IT BECAUSE OF
WELL I WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU FAIL TO GET BACK TO AFTER
READING THIS YOUR
FUND WILL DIVERTED INTO OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ACCOUNT
EVERYTHING ABOUT THE DELIVERY OF YOUR FUND IS READY YOU ARE THE ONE DELAYING
IT SO GET BACK TO ME AND LET ME KNOW IF YOU STILL NEED YOUR FUND SO THAT I
WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO IMMEDIATELY
MR. PATRICK WALKER