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:
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: DIPLOMAT JERRY MARK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2021 09:49:06 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: URGENT ATTENTION DEAR FUND BENEFICIARY,
4205 S Miami Blvd,
Urgent attention dear fund beneficiary,
How are you doing today dear fund beneficiary , I wish to inform you that the delivery of your scam victim compensation fund valued at $10.5 million usd is ready .
Right now, you are required to fill out the below information to enable me proceed with the delivery right away.
Current home address
Next of kin
next of kin email address
This e-mail message is confidential and for use by the intended recipient(s) only... Unauthorized use or treatment of all or part of this message is strictly prohibited. Unintended recipients: please notify the sender and delete the original message, any attachments and any copies from your computer and back-up system immediately.
waiting to hear from you as a matter of urgency.
I await your urgent response on this so I will proceed with the delivery right away.
Diplomat Jerry Mark
Phone: +1 (202) 792 2730