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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "you are required to pay " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Dennis Utah" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2022 01:19:24 -0800
Subject: Contact Mr. Francis Williams For Your ATM Visa Card.
Attention: Dear friend,
This is to inform you that the agent assigned to deliver your ATM Card Package worth of US$1.500.000.00 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) is currently at (DFW International Airport, Texas) and he misplaced your contact information on his arrival during the inspection at the airport, so you are to contact him with the following information below in order to deliver the package to your destination today.
Your Full Name: ============
Your Current Address: ==============
Your Telephone/ Mobile Number: ==============
Name of Your Nearest Airport: ==============
A Copy of Your Passport/Drivers License: ==============
So kindly contact the agent with your personal information or call him on phone.
Contact Person: Mr. Francis Williams
E-mail: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Telephone Number: (214) 585-5005
Meanwhile I register the package as a family treasure because I don't want the agent to know content of the package for security seasons and remember I paid for the registration and delivery fee but the only fee you are required to pay is US$295.00 to obtain the Int'l Delivery Permits before the custom will allow the agent to complete his delivery to your designated address.
Mr. Dennis Utah.