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:
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr. Williams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 01:20:28 -0800
Subject: ONLY SERIOUS MINDED MEN SHOULD CONTACT ME
Attention ATM Card Owner,
I have registered your ATM CARD of $10.5Million USD with FedEx EXPRESS
Courier Company with registration code of ( Shipment Code AWB 33xzs)please
Contact with your delivery information such as,
Your Telephone Number:=========
Name Of FedEx Director Dr.William David
Contact Email: email@example.com
I have paid for the Delivery fee. The only fee you have to pay is their
Security fee only. Please indicate the registration Code Number(awb-33xzs)
to FedEx when contacting them.
Barr. Williams Aliwo Esq.