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.
- 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: Jeffrey Preston Bezos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 19 May 2022 05:18:29 -0700
Subject: .DEAR EMAIL OWNER
My name is Jeff Bezos, an American technology entrepreneur, investor,
and charity Donations. I'm the founder, CEO and president of
AMAZON.COM, Inc. I believe strongly in giving while livingâ I had one
idea that never changed in my mind? that you should use your wealth
to help people and i have decided to give Two
Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars, to randomly selected
individuals worldwide. On receipt of this email, you should count
yourself as the lucky individual. Your email address was chosen online
while searching at random. Kindly get back to me at your earliest
convenience, so I know your email address is valid,
You can visit this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Bezos
Do make sure you provide me with your complete information below, so
that I will forward it to my selected payout bank for disbursement.
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