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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: Mary Johnson <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2022 09:40:19 +0000
Subject: GREETING IN THE NAME OF GOD.
This is a Bequest notice.
I am Mother Mary Johnson, a 78 years old widow with cancer at a hospital in
London and the wife of Late Sir Steve Johnson, who died alongside our only
child in a Plane crash on Monday the 7th of September 1998 GMT 14:22 UK
while they were flying from New York to Geneva. Please see the site below
for more information.
I got your email ID from your country guestbook while searching for a
reliable person whom I can confide in, I will like to share a private
information with you and I will appreciate if you contact me through my
email and furnish me with your information such as Name, Sex, Age, Marital
Status, Contact Address, Phone Number: to enable me write a letter of
authorization on your behalf to the bank First inland bank Nigeria plc so
that they can transfer my fund worth Ten million united state dollars to
your account for the purpose of helping the poor as indicated on my WILL.
REPLY ME HERE : firstname.lastname@example.org