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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Fred Peters <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2022 09:47:03 +0100
Subject: Important Notice
Good day, I need your help,
I am a Public Accountant officer in my Bank, also an account officer
to a deceased customer, who was a contractor with a prominent oil
company here in Louisiana. He died with the family in an auto-crash.
And since then the bank has made an effort to reach any of his
relatives but all to no avail, so I have to personally contact you
since you share the same family name with him.
I contacted you to assist in claiming the money and Property before
the bank declares the deposit as unclaimed. Respond to my email if you
are interested in handling this.
If you receive this letter in your junk mail it was due to your
Certified Public Accountant