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:
- "00,000.00" (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 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: =?UTF-8?B?TXIuwqBBYnXCoFNhbGFt?= <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2023 17:27:28 +0000
Subject: REPLY URGENTLY
MyÂ nameÂ isÂ Mr.Â AbuÂ Salam.Â IÂ amÂ workingÂ withÂ oneÂ ofÂ theÂ primeÂ banksÂ in
BurkinaÂ Faso.Â HereÂ inÂ thisÂ bankÂ existedÂ adormantÂ accountforÂ many
years,Â whichÂ belongedÂ toÂ oneÂ ofÂ ourÂ lateÂ foreignÂ customers.Â TheÂ amount
inÂ thisÂ accountÂ standsÂ atÂ $13,300,000.00 (ThirteenÂ MillionÂ Three
HundredÂ ThousandÂ USÂ Dollars).
IÂ wantÂ aÂ foreignÂ accountÂ whereÂ theÂ bankÂ willÂ transferÂ thisÂ fund.Â I
knowÂ youÂ wouldÂ beÂ surprisedÂ toÂ readthisÂ message,especiallyÂ fromsomeone
relativelyÂ unknownÂ toÂ you.Â But,Â doÂ notÂ worryÂ yourselfÂ soÂ much.Â ThisÂ is
aÂ genuine,Â riskÂ freeÂ andÂ legalÂ businessÂ transaction.Â AllÂ detailsÂ shall
beÂ sentÂ toÂ youÂ onceÂ IÂ receiveÂ yourÂ kindÂ response.
IÂ wasÂ veryÂ fortunateÂ toÂ comeÂ acrossÂ theÂ deceasedÂ customer'sÂ security
fileÂ duringÂ documentationÂ ofÂ oldÂ andÂ abandoned customer'sÂ filesÂ forÂ an
officialÂ documentationÂ andÂ auditÂ ofÂ theÂ yearÂ 2022.
IfÂ youÂ areÂ reallyÂ sureÂ ofÂ yourÂ sincerity,Â trustworthiness,
accountabilityÂ andÂ confidentialityÂ overÂ thisÂ transaction,Â replyÂ back
toÂ me urgentlyÂ throughÂ myÂ privateÂ emailÂ address:
Mr.Â AbuÂ Salam