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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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 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: "BRYCE CONATSER " <"www.w."@wit.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "BRYCE CONATSER " <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:23:52 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Good Day Fund Beneficiary,
Good Day Fund Beneficiary,
This is to notify you that we have been instructed by The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and The World Bank to transfer your compensation fund worth USD8,500,000 USD (Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) which is presently in our bank and ready to be transferred to you through our Secured Online Money Transfer System (online bank transfer) or Via our ATM Master Card Delivery to your address (with a daily withdrawal of USD3.000 only) Or we will send you a Certified Cashier Check worth of USD850,000 to your address according to the instruction from The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and The World Bank. Kindly reconfirm your full detail below,
Your Full Names (First, Middle, Last):
Phone/Cell Numbers (office, home, mobile):
Current Home Address:
Copy of your ID/License:
Date of Birth:
Note that the immediate processing of your approved fund will commence as soon as the above details has been received, we await your exigent email response.
+1 972 914 6643
Thanks for your co-operation.
BRYCE CONATSER .