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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- ",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)
- "contact the diplomat" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: MR JOHN WILLIAMS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 03:32:53 -0700
GOOD DAY,lucky beneficiary.
I'M AGENT WILLIAM JOHN,
This mail is to inform you of the ongoing pandemic fund support award
to millions of citizens of major countries affected by the virus, by
the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) and INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Note that this mail is only for people who are listed on the ongoing
WHO and IMF support data and shouldn't be allowed to be manipulated by
any individuals or organizations.
Once you get this mail kindly forward your details:
Full name :...
Phone number :......
your ID card:.....
To our diplomats assigned to deliver your fund to you immediately.
every receiver of this mail is awarded the sum of $17,000,000,00
million dollars each.
Note that this fund award doesn't attract any fee more or less than
$100 dollars approved by the (WHO) and (IMF) to have your award pin
printed from the (WHO) and (IMF) award data, by the diplomat assigned
to you for purposes of safe delivery. So we urge everyone to be more
careful of the wrong persons.
Contact the diplomat with this information:
EMAIL ADDRESS : email@example.com
WhatsApp info: +19194078827.
For more details on how to receive your fund.