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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Info Finance Firm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2021 06:44:57 -0700
Subject: Greetings unclaimed inheritance. Kindly get back to me
How are you doing I am writing you on behalf of your family, I have
emailed you earlier on without any response from you. In my first
email I mentioned about my late client Daniel, whose relatives I
cannot get in touch with regarding the recovery of his deposit with a
Finance Firm, but both of you have the same last name so it will be
very easy to front you as his official next of kin. I am compelled to
do this because I don't want the finance house to push my clientâs
funds into their treasury as unclaimed inheritance. Kindly get back to
me to my official email. email@example.com at your
earliest, so that I can give you comprehensive details on what we are