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:
- 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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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 (Aol, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Neil Trotter" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2017 04:05:56 +0800
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS!!! YOU HAVE WON!!!
My name is Neil Trotter the winner of 108 million Pounds on the Euro
million Jackpot Draw for 2014,and i bring to you perfect good news for
such a perfect timing as this. I know this is surprising for you to have
received this at this stage But because of my last year unexpected
blessings am excited so i am willing to donate 5,000,000(five Million
Great Britain Pounds) to you and as part of my effort to alleviate poverty
and care for the less privileged around the world have decided to donate
to just 5 people around the globe which you are a part of so do get back
me quickly via my personal email at Trotter000137@aol.co.uk
Do Provide the following information below when contacting me
Country of Residence: