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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "John Brennan." (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 3 May 2017 09:13:55 -0700
Good day to you my friend,
I have good news for you.
Information reaching my desk states that you have not received your long awaited beneficiary fund, however a round table meeting has just been concluded and the resolution of the meeting is to ensure that your funds can get to you today or latest this week.
Now if you truly want to claim this fee that truly belongs to you, I need you to indicate by answering the questions below and state the mode of payment you would prefer.
How much are you expecting to receive as your beneficiary fund?
How much were you asked to pay to clear your beneficiary fund?
What mode of payment do you prefer? Check, SWIFT ATM Card or Bank Transfer.
For bank transfer mode, provide the bank account details currently owned.
Reconfirm your personal information for the records viz: FULL NAME, CURRENT ADDRESS, OCCUPATION AND PHONE NUMBER)
Get back to me ASAP with the requested information above and you will be glad you did.