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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "consignment " (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.
Fraud email example:
From: CRUTCH MAN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2023 15:07:56 -0700
HELLO DEAR FRIEND I am MISS.SPUNKY WHITE FROM WOODFOREST NATIONAL BANK
I am hereby to let's you know that we have got so much reports about
your situation and according to the reports you have been scammed so
many times by those imposters claiming to have funds for you and at
last they will disappear after getting paid or tell you another story
so that they can scam you out money
So we look into the matter last week and decided to make a donation
for you about you being a scam victims and all of our bank officials
donated a sum of $30 million USD accurate and we want to know if you
will like us to open a new checking account or savings account with
your name and transfer the money into it and deliver your ATM card to
your home ok or will you like to get the money through
(2)bank to bank wire transfer
Choose any option and get back to me ASAP ok