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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Deanna Stallings" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2022 11:19:46 +0100
Subject: Attn: Valued Beneficiary!??
Mrs. Deanna Stallings
I am from the United States a sick woman who has decided to donate what I
have to charity through you.
You may be wondering why I chose you. But someone has to be chosen. I am 68
years old and diagnosed with cancer about 2 years ago. I inherited a total
sum of 5.2m from my late husband, my only son has also late this money
which is deposited in my Bank. with my name and I will give you my all if
you will be trust and also willing to help me carry out my wish. Easy
communication kindly responds Back To me.Please keep it very confidential
to yourself and signify your interest by replying to my private email.(
firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can proceed.
Waiting your urgent reply,
Mrs. Deanna Stallings