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 states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.OSCAR WILLIAMS" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2021 16:03:23 +0100
Subject: ATTENTION EMAIL OWNER:
ATTENTION EMAIL OWNER:
THE FEDERAL World Health Organization WRITES TO LET YOUR NOTICE THAT
SOME FUND HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE WORLD BANK ORGANIZATION AND WORLD PRESIDENCY UNION TO BE RECEIVED BY YOU AS FORM OF COVID-19
COMPENSATION FUND FOR BEING BADLY AFFECTED in Business and Work BY
COVID-19.AMOUNT APPROVED (US$5,000.000.00) FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES
DOLLARS ONLY. THROUGH ATM CARD.
The World Health Organization in collaboration with its Parent
Organization United Nations Economic and Social Council looked at the
corona virus pandemic damage on the world economy and decided to help
individuals and companies for Compensation being Badly Affected by
COVID-19 to bounce back to their respective businesses.
kindly provide us with the following information for verification of
your COVID-19 COMPENSATION FUND and production of your prize
Age / Sex..........................
Mobile Telephone #............
Your Passport or Id card....
YOUR URGENT RESPONSE IS WELCOMED AS WE ARE OPEN TO RECEIVE ANY
QUESTION THAT MIGHT DISTURB YOU.
YOURS IN SERVICE
MR OSCAR WILLIAMS..