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:
- "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)
- 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: WARREN E BUFFETT <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2022 10:22:56 +0100
Subject: ATTENTION LUCKY BENEFICIARY
In the spirit of the new year, I have offered to assist you with 60%
0f whatever it would cost to get his donation.
I am greatly troubled that you are yet to get my donation till this
very moment. This has prompted me to offer an additional $500,000
to my earlier donation of $2,900,000.00, making it $3,400,000.00.
You are to get back to my secretary Pamela Bill with your details
stating the reason(s) why you have been unable to get your fund.
Pamela Bill firstname.lastname@example.org
Upon the receipt of your information and reason(s),I shall would
offset 50% of the demanded fee to speed up the
process and ensure you have a very good new year celebration.
Warren E Buffet