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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Mr.William Pumax" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2023 17:36:29 +0100
I am Mr.William Pumax and thereby wants to inform you that the board directors has ordered full payment to our investors. In any way that you are been owed by the recent government , here the chief executives board and diplomats has decided to pay of all outstanding payments.$25.5 million has been mapped out to compensate all, may be you were defrauded in the process of pursuing your fund or any inheritance or you were been duped of any kind, Here is a chance of redemption from the government to repay and compensate all those victims of fraud.
We will give a round trip ticket to the country to go and receive your payment. Once you arrive Tokyo you go straight to your hotel room, then the chief diplomat will come and meet you to verify all your documents that will given to you, you duly signed them, once they go through then together with informations and data, you guys will go to payment centre where your fund will be transferred to you into your designated bank account in your country.
We have also set up a meeting of directors that will sponsor your trip from country to where you will be visiting for cause this trasantion. Your hotel reservation will given to you together with travelling allowances during your trip till the transaction is completed.
After the fund is been transferred into your designated bank account in your country, I and my colleagues involves in this transaction will come over to you for our share and parth of the fund as it was stated in the agreement you will sign. I want to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free and very legitimate so no risk involves. We have every documents needed to back it up during the transfer in other to safe guard from the eye of the authorities. Every percentage needed, our men are on ground for any good arrangeme till this transaction is completed.
Lastly you are advise not to spend any cent from your pocket as all your trip will be sponsored. We need you to send us your data page of your international passport, your full address, your I'd card, to enable the sponsor to proceed with your traveling documents and your visa processing where it is needed.
Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation towards the actualization of this transaction.