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 united states 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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Barrister Elizabeth James <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2023 06:38:11 -0700
Subject: Your Fund Transfer Is Ready
Kindly Contact Bank Of Africa
I' m very sorry it's taken this long to get back to you, but we have
just managed to process how to transfer your total fund $39.7 million
to you through online bank wire transfer because we was directed to
transfer your total fund to you through online bank wire transfer
according to instruction given by United Nation, Meanwhile you are
required to contact Bank Of Africa immediately enable them proceed
with your transfer without any further delay because all the process
how to transfer your total fund to you have already made done waiting
for you to contact them with your bank details such as.
Take note your fund has already been deposited to the Bank Of Africa
and your total fund will also remain in the Bank Of Africa here until
you contact them and once you contacted Bank Of Africa, they will
transfer your total fund $39.7 million United States dollars to you
immediately without any delay.
Kindly Contact Bank Of Africa Immediately
Mr. Othman Benjelloun
Email:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
With my best regards,
Barrister Elizabeth James
Your Fund Transfer Is Ready