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:
- "money-gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "you are required to pay " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Mr,Ricardo Tanur." <"www."@aqua.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr,Ricardo Tanur." <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 12:16:35 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Your prompt response will be highly appreciated.
Your prompt response will be highly appreciated.
Well, be informed that all you ought to do is to send us the below requested details to enable us proceed with your transfer today before it will be too late.
So please send us:
Your Receiver name:
The maximum amount you will be receiving per day is $5,000 and you are required to pay for your payment file validation fee, so contact Our director with your information and ask him how much is the fee, Thank You.
Note!!! The fund is originated as a compensation from ECOWAS (Economic of West African State) in the sum of$10.5Million USD.
As soon as we get these above details we shall proceed with the transfer immediately and send you the payment slip for confirmation.
Kindly help and assist us in the fight against scam Mr,Ricardo Tanur. emailing by adding this code of conduct (#MG/XXZCMTFX2017) in every email conversations to differentiate between our email and any other third party.
Contact Mr,Ricardo Tanur.
via email on (firstname.lastname@example.org)