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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Kristalina Georgieva" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2022 17:55:53 +0800
Subject: DID YOU SIGN ANY "DEED OF AGREEMENT" ?
Did You Instruct One Ms. Donna K. Berliner, To Claim Your
US$10,700.000.00. The above-mentioned person visited this Office
with a power of attorney given in her favor by your good
self, granting her the benefit to process and claim your pending fund
valued US$10,700,000.00 (Ten Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars) for personal reasons.
She further stated that you are one of the Corona virus diseases
(COVID-19) victims as you did not survive but you grant her a power of
attorney to claim your pending funds before you pass away. Please
answer this very important question, are you (Dead OR Alive).
Did you sign any 'Deed of Assignment' in
her favor thereby making her current beneficiary/Next of Kin to
receive your pending fund?
Ms. Kristalina Georgieva
Managing Director of the International