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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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: Grace Clock <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2017 23:09:44 +0200
Subject: Re. For Whom It May Concern.
The Google Foundation.
The Google Foundation, would like to notify you that you have been chosen by the board of trustees as one of the final recipients of a cash Grant for your own personal, educational, and business development. The Google Foundation, established in the year 2005, is one of the biggest Foundation, Grants for Global Development in the World. In the year 2005, they started offering collection for the sole aim of human growth, educational and Community development. In conjunction with the UN, and EU, We are giving out a yearly Grant to 10 lucky recipients each year. These specific Grant will be awarded to 20 lucky international recipients worldwide; in different categories for their personal business development.
The objective is to make a notable change in the standard of living of people all around the Universe (From America to Europe, Asia to Africa and all around). Kindly note that you will only be chosen to receive the Grant once, which means that subsequent yearly Grant will not get to you. Take time and thought in using the Grant wisely on something that will last you a long time.
Based on the random selection exercise of internet websites, you were selected among the lucky recipients to receive the grant award sum as charity Grants from the Google Foundation, EU and the UN in accordance with the enabling act of Parliament. (Note that all beneficiaries email addresses were selected randomly from over 500,000 Internet websites in which you might have purchased something or sign up from). You are required to contact the Google Foundation Executive Secretary below, for qualification documentation and processing of your unclaimed grant. After contacting the secretary, you will be given your unclaimed grant pin number, which you will use in collecting the unclaimed grant. Please endeavor to quote your Qualification numbers (V-8920-1047, K-9730-519) in all discussions.
Executive Secretary: Mr. Taj Watt
Please note that the EU, UN, strictly administers these grant. You are by all means hereby advised to keep this whole information confidential until you have been able to collect your unclaimed grant.
On behalf of Google Foundation, UN and the EU, accept our warmest congratulations.
May God Bless you with this Grant.
Mrs. Grace Clock.
The Google Foundation.