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)
- "million us 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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Lucy Akanki <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 12:36:33 +0000
Subject: Dear Friend.
Compliments of the day.
Can you assist to handle this transaction? More details information will be
sent to you as soon as i receive your response.The below details
informations is needed from you to enable us proceed as this is a huge
money transaction of 4.5 Million US dollars.I know this is a surprise Email
message to you but i will be happy to receive your details information
showing your genuity and interest in this transaction.
1. Full name:.............
2. Current Address:..........
3. Telephone NÂ°:..............
I will be appreciated if you can reach me on ( email@example.com )
Waiting to hear from you soon.
Waiting For Your Urgent Response
Thanks and remain blessed