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:
- "million us dollars" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: MR OWEN JAMES <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2022 00:36:59 +0000
Hello My dear
I'm Mr Owen James from standard Chartered Bank New York state
Your funds worth $2.5 million US dollars has been approved by the United
States international monetary fund (IMF) to be transferred to you once we
receive your response in within 72hrs of this message to your which is 3
After 72 hours and no response from you , your funds will be transferred to
the united states treasury account due to lack of cooperation from the
this funds is from the united states cyber crime security compensation fund
which is given to all the listed scammed victims in the US and Europe ...
if this text is a mistake and you had never being scammed or anything
Involved in cyber fraudulent activities ...pls indicate immediately so we
can further cancel your transaction with an immediate effect
Mr Owen James
Standard Chartered Bank