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:
- "million 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)
- 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: "Jennifer Brian" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2017 22:14:19 +0300
Subject: Hi Dear we been trying to reach you
My name is Mrs. Jennifer Brian, an aging widow, suffering from Cancer illness here in Florida Hospital Orlando, i have some funds which i inherited from my late husband, the sum of ($3.7 Million Dollars) and i needed a very honest and sincere individual or co-operate organization that will use the fund for work of humanity by helping the less privilege and build Churches around the world.
I found your e-mail address from the Human Resources Data Base and decided to contact you, Please if you would be able to use the funds for the work of humanity as i have stipulated above in order to fulfill my late husband last wishes and if you are interested please kindly reply me back immediately through my private e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also reply with your personal data as bellow and my lawyer will contact you immediately for more details and further documentation process.
(1) Your Full Name........
(2) Full Residential Address: (P.O.BOX NOT ALLOWED)
(4) Direct and Current Phone No.
(5) Int. Passport or Drivers License Identification
Mrs. Jennifer Brian