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.
- 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)
- "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: Head Office <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2021 19:46:23 -0400
Subject: Your urgent response is needed
I am Mr. Michael Raynor and this message is to inform you that the
United States has newly appointed Secretary from the Federal CORIS
Bank of Benin Republic (Ms.Janet Yallen) has approved the immediate
release and delivery of your ATM CARD to you
I have registered your ATM with DHL this morning and we agreed up that
your (US$10.5 million dollars) in ATM CARD delivery will take place
Tomorrow morning. So kindly reconfirm you
Your Full name:
Your Cell Number:
I await your urgent response and you can also reach me on +(229) 6379-9201.
Mr. Michael Raynor