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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs.Vera Townsend
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:11:46 -0400
Subject: I am a living testimony.
You have to read this to amend your mistakes my dear, I am contacting you because of the information I saw about your fund payment, this will be of a great help to redeem you from all the difficulties you have been experiencing in regards to your long over due payment due to excessive demand for money from you by the non officials departments.
I am Mrs. Vera Townsend from Atlanta Ga USA. I am one of those who was a victim of fraud in the West Africa Region, I have spent over 60.000.00 US Dollars trying to get my payment and all to no avail, not knowing I was dealing with the wrong people.
One day, I got an e-mail from a Man called Alexander David from Oregon in USA telling me to stop dealing with people contacting me if any and contact an FBI Agent in Washington DC to receive my fund which I did by traveling down to Washington DC, I was directed to meet the only elected payment FBI Agent in the country (USA) which happened to be the same FBI Agent that David told me about and I tabled my problem to him, Be hold he explained everything to me, he said that whoever contacting us through emails for ATM Card, UPS, DHL and Cashier Check E.T.C are Fake.
After, he took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment, Right now I am the happiest woman on earth because I have received my long due compensation payment of $15M, Moreover the FBI Agent, showed me the full informationâs of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your email Address and your fund amount as one of the beneficiaries, thatâs why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those criminals contacting you,honestly they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you, I will advise you to stop any contact with them and contact the payment FBI Agent to claim your fund with the following E-mail(firstname.lastname@example.org) before itâs too late.The only money I paid to received my fund was $550 usd for obtaining of your fund legal documents.
Note: The $550 usd was the only money i paid concerning this transaction God Bless you and remain bless
I am a living testimony.