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 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)
- "million pounds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Patrick Connolly <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Patrick Connolly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 09 Oct 2021 18:53:58 +0300
Subject: RE: AGREEMENT
We are Patrick & Frances Connolly. We won £115 million pounds in the EuroMillions jackpot in Northern Ireland on January 1st, 2019 and published 4th January 2019.
This month we have decided to share among individuals a little part of our riches because of the current hardship, business failure and loss of jobs as a result of pandemic. We have decided to give you the sum of Three million dollars ($3,000,000.00).
Note: You must use part of this donation to help your immediate family members and friends, and Less Privilege in your community. We want to hear from you if our gift of $3,000,000.00 dollars is accepted by you as we proceed.
Kindly introduce yourself to me in the format below to avoid 2 parties on claim.
Male OR Female?
We await your reply.