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:
- "transferred into your bank account" (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: "John" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 19 May 2022 10:52:57 -0000
Subject: Re: Respond
I sent you an email on 22/04/2022 which I do not know if you really received or not because I got no answer from you. I am John Mills, an account officer with a Bank. We have a late engineer who the government wants to seize his money Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($10.500.000.00) because no name is identified as his next of kin. I am asking for your full cooperation to enable us to transfer the money into your bank for us to share it 50/50 or invest it into real estate at the same rate instead of the government to seize it for infrastructure maintenance. I will be glad to hear from you very soon if you receive my message this time unlike before. The fund will be legally transferred into your bank account if you accept my proposal, Kindly give me your direct cell phone number for more discussion and I will send you the legal detail process of getting the money into your bank account without delay.