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 united states 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)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
Fraud email example:
From: Buky Billy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2023 18:16:16 -0400
Subject: YOUR ATM DEBIT CARD,
YOUR ATM DEBIT CARD,
We are officially announcing to you the result of the United Nation/World
Bank Email Lottery Promotion held on the 10th OF April 2023, as part of our
International beginning of year promotion award. Your name was attached to
the reference number YBNGWB/UN/2023.
With draw number P7013YBNGWB which consequently won in the 1st category
prize, your email address was extracted from our electronic email
extraction system which randomly selected Ten (10) Lucky Winners of which
your email address was among one of the lucky winners.
You have therefore been approved for a payout of a total sum US$12.6
Million UNITED STATE DOLLARS. This is to inform you that a Debit Cash Card
Number 7876310003001420 Valued US$12.6 Million United States Dollars has
been accredited in your favor.
Contact him With the following information to facilitate your claims.
ID CARD COPY:
You are hereby advised to provide all the necessary information to enable
us to facilitate on the immediate delivery of Your ATM MASTER CARD worth
$12.6 Million United state Dollars.
Dr. Malpass .
WORLD BANK PRESIDENT,
EXECUTIVE PAYMENT OFFICER (UN)