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:
- "hundred thousand 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 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: "Mr. Frank Johnson" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2018 22:06:43 +0100
Subject: Attention Your ATM Card Delivering,
Attention Your ATM Card Delivering,
I wish to notify you that our Delivering Agent has arrived at St. Louis
Lambert International Airport,(St. Louis, Missouri,) with your ATM Card
Package. His Name is Mr. Robert Leon. He has been there with your ATM
CARD Package Which Contains Your Unclaimed Compensation Payment worth of
Four Million Six Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($4.6 Million, US
Dollars) From United Nations Fund Compensation Unit office here in
Therefore Email him your address on how to reach to your door step
including your phone number. Donât let Him know how much the package
contain, try follow the instruction as I told you. Email him with this
email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) Telephone: (314) 254 0578
reconfirm your delivering information to him now.
Direct Phone number__
Mr. Frank Johnson
UN Delivering Manager