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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rosa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2023 14:56:24 +0100
Dear Email Owner,
This is to inform you that we are constituted by the United Nation
debt reconciliation to scrutinize the apex institution pending and
unclaimed funds transfers due to individuals and companies, as such
a specified file register under your name and your email account has
been certified and classified as your inheritance,COVID-19 compensation
funds own to you but the payment was unsettled.
Now we have deposited your bank draft Check $1.5 Million USD with the
Bank under the care of (Mr. George Moore) Please email him immediately
to his personal email:( email@example.com or Telephone +229 674
290 81) to send the check to you or get remit via bank transfer
Kindly re-confirm to him your personal information per as follow:
Your full Name...,Your phone number..,Your occupation..,Your contact
address and Your Identity Card..
Thanks and anticipating your urgent response
Mrs. Rosa Freeman
Section assistance and Verification committee
United Nation debt reconciliation organization