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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: STEFANO PESSINA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2021 17:22:53 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend
I'm Stefano Pessina, an Italian business tycoon, investor, and
philanthropist. the vice chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and the
single largest shareholder of Walgreens Boots Alliance. I gave away 25
percent of my personal wealth to charity. And I also pledged to give away
the rest of 25% this year 2021 to Individuals.. I have decided to donate
$2,200,000.00 (Two million two hundred thousand Dollars)to you. If you are
interested in my donation, do contact me via email@example.com for
more info. You can also read more about me via the link below
CEO Walgreens Boots Alliance