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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "my direct telephone number" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: Samuel Emmanuel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2023 04:32:35 -0700
Subject: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
DEPT: FOREIGN FUND MONITORY & INVESTIGATING UNIT
FEDERAL SECRETARIAT IKEJA
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL
REV E. C SAMUEL
DIRECT TELEPHONE: + 234 8026940458
OUR REF FGN/ FMIU/ 03/ 2023 Your Ref: â¦â¦â¦â¦
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
HAVE YOU RECEIVED YOUR FUND, IF NOT CONTACT US FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OF YOUR FUND IN THIS FIRST QUARTER PAYMENT OF THE YEAR 2023?
YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS APPEAR IN THE LIST OF PAYMENT THAT WAS WHY I AM
CONTACTING YOU. YOU ARE TO PHONE ME IMMEDIATELY YOU RECEIVE THIS MAIL
ON MY DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER + 234 8026940458
YOUâRE URGENT REPLY IS AWAITED.
REV E. C SAMUEL