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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "STEVEN WALKER" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2022 00:36:38 +0300
Subject: [***** SPAM 5.3 *****] GREETING TO YOU
I do foresee the surprise this letter will bring to you as it
comes from a stranger, but be assured that it comes with the best
of intentions. This is an urgent proposal regards a Fixed Deposit
of 55,800,000.00 (Fifty Five Million Eight Hundred Thousand
British Pounds) deposited in a Bank by My late client.
With the Bank where the fund was deposited by my deceased client
giving me a deadline to the end of their organization's financial
year ending before they claim the deposit, I seek your consent to
present you as the sole beneficiary of the deceased for future
claim of the said fund. Email me with your Full names, Age,
country and Direct telephone number only to enable me furnish you
with adequate information in regards this claim.
Very Truly,Yours Steven
P Walker (Attorney)