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)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Tony Elumelu" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2023 14:00:12 -0700
Subject: Good day
This is Tony Elumelu the Group Managing Director/CEO at United Bank for Africa Plc,Your payment file was about to be canceled because you refused to pay the needed fees for your fund release so why did you want to abandon such an amount of fund worth a sum of 4.5 million dollars?.
Do you know that this fund can change your life totally I would have cancel it but I decided to email you first and know the reason why as A good man before I can go ahead and cancel it.I advise you to read this email and reply back to me immediately with the delivery fee and also your address where to deliver your fund To such as
Your Full name____
Your county __________
Your home address_
Your pone contact_
I look forward to hear back from you as soon as possible or else your fund will be cancel within 48hrs. I permit you to send me WhatApps message to below number +234-701 454 5298