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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "St.michael Angela" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2022 00:02:52 -0800
Subject: DEAREST FRIEND,
I AM MR.EDWARD TONY AND I AM VERY HAPPY TO INFORM YOU ABOUT MY SUCCESS
IN GETTING THAT FUND TRANSFERRED. NOW I WANT YOU TO CONTACT MY
SECRETARY ON THE INFORMATION BELOW AND RECEIVE YOUR COMPENSATION OF
$10,500,000.00 FROM HIM:
NAME MR.Gill Morris
SEND HIM THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO PROVE YOURSELF TO HIM:
YOUR FULL NAME;...........................
YOUR PHONE NUMBER:........................
NOTE THAT IF YOU DID NOT SEND HIM THE ABOVE INFORMATION COMPLETE, HE
WILL NOT RELEASE THE CHEQUE TO YOU BECAUSE HE HAS TO BE SURE THAT IT
IS YOU. ASK HIM TO SEND YOU THE TOTAL SUM OF ($10,500,000.00)USD
CASHIER'S CHEQUE, WHICH I KEPT FOR YOU.
NOTE ALSO THAT I WILL NOT BE REACHED BY EMAIL OR PHONE FOR NOW BECAUSE
I AM CORRECTLY AWAY FOR INVESTMENT PURPOSE WITH MY SHARE AND I WILL BE
BUSY TILL ABOUT SIX MONTHS TIME OR A YEAR. REGARDS,