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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "trunk boxes" (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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Tim Hicks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2022 03:38:24 -0700
Subject: Urgent Attention Needed.
*Dear Friend,Am Molina Moulin, a British citizen and a banker here in the
USA, please. I am very sorry for disturbing you but if you don't mind both
of us will rejoice and celebrate together at the end of the day.I have a
deal of $25.3 million to rock with you, This money in question belong to
one of our customers who died on March 2020 on a complicated issue related
to coronavirus covid 19,the customer deposited the money in our bank
without any next of kin and i am the account manager of late customer.This
deal is completely 100% risk free, the truth of the matter is that the
money in question does not belong to me rather to our late customer who
died on corona-virus covid 19.I need a trustworthy person who will help me
to receive the money in a bank safe seal trunk boxes to avoid traces and we
are going to share the money 50/50 because I don't want to be too greedy.If
you are interested in this deal kindly send down the following personal
details demanded of you below and as soon i hear from you with the required
information below we will proceed on how the money will move to you in your
country but you are advised to keep everything regards to this business
very confidential only between me and you to ensure successful
.....(2)Occupation:................ ..............(3)Age and
Status:.......................(5)Private mobile phone and fax numbers in
any:..................(6)Current residential address:..............(7)ID
Identity......................................I am waiting for your urgent
response so that we will start immediately on how the funds will move to
you through a United nation delivery agent. Please confirm the receipt of
this vital message.Regards, yours faithfullyMolina Moulin(@) 2101 ITL-CUS*