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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Anna S. William" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 08:51:27 -0800
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,
I know that you will be surprised to receive this mail from me today.
I am Anna S. William, I work with Royal Bank of Scotland. This letter
is highly privileged and it requires your immediate attention because
we lost one of our customers who happens to be from your country also
has the same family name as you and he had a fixed-term Deposit worth
of $4.7 Million with our Bank before his death.
Given to your nationality with our late Customer Michael, I want to
present you to the bank as the beneficiary for the inheritance fund
and both of us will divide the funds 50% 50% once the money is
transferred into your account.
I look forward to your immediate response.
Anna S. William