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:
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "Mrs.Kristalina Georgieva" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2023 14:13:52 -0700
Subject: Attention dear beneficiary
Attention dear beneficiary
This is Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva, Secretary to International Monetary
funds (IMF) We write to inform you about your award winning check of
USD$9.5Million which was issued out from the bank last week, although
the check has been cashed & converted to ATM master card the check was
cashed & loaded into Atm master card is because the check may get
expired before it gets to your address, therefore we have registered
the ATM MasterCard with DHL courier shipping company here for them to
have it deliver to your address.
You are advise to contact them via their info below so that they can
have it delivery to your address, And please ensure you send them your
current address where to deliver Your ATM card to as below:
Contact Them With Their Contact Detail Below.
Dhl Courier Shipping Company
Manager: MR.John Pearson.
Endeavor to indicate the ATM parcel registration number to them which
is (ATM-0993CZ) when contacting them.
Secretary to IMF