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:
- "million 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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Lussie Marthen <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2023 06:59:36 -0800
Subject: Attention is needed,
Delivery Of ATM Visa Card worth $10 million dollars
Dear Email Owner, Greetings to you,
How are you doing today, My name is Mr Lussie Marthen the managing
director Of FedEx courier services, we the entire FedEx courier Services
are here to inform you about your ATM VISA CARD package worth $10
million dollars that were brought to our office to deliver to you from
the office the United Nation settlement Organization therefore as soon
as you received this notice kindly get back to us with your shipping
details required for the processing and delivery of your ATM VISA CARD
package worth $10 million dollars to your provided address.
1, Full Name.....
4, Phone Number..
We wait for your reply with your shipping information to enable us to
proceed and deliver your ATM VISA CARD to your provided address.
Director FedEx courier
Mr Lussie Marthen