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.
- 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: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2023 01:12:56 +0800
Subject: *SH* Attention Dear Email Owner
I am Ambassador Brian Shukan to the United States Embassy in Benin, we hereby inform you that your ATM card worth $25 million has been in this custody for a few months now. The Payment of the fund by ATM card has been approved by the United States Embassy in the Republic of Benin for immediate delivery by the IMF's International Monetary Fund. I believe that this message will reach you directly because we have tried several times to reach you without getting a response from you. The main reason we decided to contact you last time is the following, for over a week now.
Aimee Tiscione has been contacting us that you authorized her to claim your $25 million ATM card? simply because you were suffering from cancer and you don't think you can survive to receive the fund. She wants us to change everything to her name and deliver the Fund to her direct address instead of yours. I was confused and shocked at the same time I decided to report to you and confirm from you the beneficiary of the fund by any means before making any decision.so if you are not aware of this claim from this lady? Please let us know urgently and if you still have the option to claim your fund peacefully as a rightful beneficiary. I will know whether to proceed with you or to her immediately.
Kindly reconfirm your complete address information
Your Full Name_____
Cell phone +1 405 295 5437
WhatsApp Number +229 5411 6221
Ambassador Brian Shukan
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believed to be clean.