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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Piramal Philanthropies Foundation <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2021 14:10:14 +0100
Subject: Donation Of $1,500.000.00 for you and family!
Congratulations from the Piramal Philanthropies Foundation, where life
changing opportunities and cash are given-out on a daily basis. The
foundation/founder has indeed been a great Philanthropist to this
generation and is truly committed to "giving while living," We are
pleased to inform you that you are one (1) of the lucky people to
benefit and receive $ 1,500,000.00 USD from our foundation's ongoing
goodwill project, grant/donations program. Ajay Piramal (born 3 August
1955) is an Indian billionaire industrialist, and the chairman of the
Piramal Foundation and Piramal Group, a conglomerate with interests in
pharmaceutical, financial services, real estate, healthcare analytics
and glass packaging.
Is this message sent to a valid e-mail account? Your email account was
randomly selected to receive a cash donation of $ 1,500,000.00 USD
from the Philanthropist. If this is a valid e-mail account, contact us
immediately for comprehensive information.
Chief Financial Officer