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:
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: MR GARY BRUINS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2021 01:55:24 -0700
Address 2200 N Pearl St, Dallas, TX 75201, USA
We write to notify you that your long awaited fund is cleared and
ready for immediate transfer. Like you probably know, your fund was
unethically obstructed by corrupt officials, who diverted this funds
to an offshore account.
However, a number of principles have been raised which need
clarification or reconfirmation at a board level. In this case, you
will have to provide your identification, including your full name and
address for validation a of this transfer.
We assure you that this will not be the case of the past, as we have
appointed a reputable bank to foresee this payment procedure.
Make sure you forward your details to us
Mr. Gary Lee Bruins,