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:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: MR JAMES <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2021 02:05:41 +0000
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam
I know this email might come to you as a surprise as first coming from
one you havenât met with before.
I am Mr. James White, the I'm bank assistant bank manager in Citibank
New York City USA, and a personal banker of Dr.Mohamed Farouk Ibrahim,
an Egyptian who happened to be a medical contractor attached to the
overthrown Afghan government by the Taliban government.
Dr.Mohamed Farouk Ibrahim deposits some sum of money with our bank but
car accidents with his family while trying to leave for a shopping
here in Buffalo NY.
The said sum can be used for an investment if you are interested.
Details relating to the funds are in my position and will present you
as the Next-of-Kin because there was none, and I shall furnish you
with more detail once your response.
Mr. James White
Tel: (920) 777-7112