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:
- ",000,000" (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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ismail Ahmed" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2023 09:03:23 -0700
Subject: SPAM Attention: E-mail Address Owner
Attention: E-mail Address Owner
RE: COVID-19 COMPENSATION FROM UN COMPENSATION COMMISSION
The United Nation Compensation Commission has launched a $32,000,000 compensation fund to 64 lucky surviving victims of COVID-19 Pandemic. Your email address is on the list as one of the 64 lucky surviving victims and you are entitled to receive $500,000 through WorldRemit money Transfer. We have been mandated by the UN Compensation Commission to transfer your compensation to you via WorldRemit® Money Transfer.
However, we have successfully concluded all the arrangements to affect your payment through WorldRemit®. We have scheduled your payment to be completed by sending you $2,500, 5 times ($12,500)daily until the total sum of $500,000 is completely transferred to you.
Notwithstanding, we can not be able to send the payment to your email address alone, thereby we need your information as to where we will be sending the funds, such as;
Contact the director via email at (email@example.com) with your full information. Note that your payment files will be returned to the UN Compensation Commission if we did not hear from you, this was the instruction given to us by them. We will start the transfer as soon as we receive your information. For urgent inquiry about your daily payment, call/Whatsapp +229-9047-8514 anytime.
Mr. Ismail Ahmed
Director, WorldRemit International Money Transfer