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:
- 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: State Inheritance Committee <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2017 00:26:53 +0800
This is to officially inform you that your ATM card number: 3774 2856 7847 9006 worth Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand ($8.5 Million USD) has been credited in your favor in bid to compensate you on your contract payment since you are next on our inheritance file for the second part of this fiscal Year 2017. The card center will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM MACHINE Center around the world.
Your personal identification code is ATM- 7997. Contact the verification officer Ben Amadi (Mr.) on: (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the following requirements below for proper verification and claim processing:
You are also required to send to the verification officer/agent a means of Identification which should be a scan copy of your Driverˇ¦s License or International Passport for proper identification and authentication.
STATE INHERITANCE COMMITTEE.