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:
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: AGENT williams Benson <"ww1."@beach.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: AGENT williams Benson <Williams.Benson@naij.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 21:59:55 +0900 (JST)
Subject: please pay attention my dear
HELLO GOOD DAY MY DEAR THIS IS THE AGENT IN CHARGE OF THE DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM CARD Mr Stephen Porter I WAS SENT BY THE UNITED STATE EMBASSY TO DELIVER YOUR ATM CARD OF (4.8MILLION USD) TO YOU AND I am in Atlanta Georgia INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WITH YOUR CARD JUST ARRIVE THIS MORNING SO I WANT YOU TO RECONFIRM YOUR DELIVERY ADDRESS TO ME NOW TO AVOID WRONG DELIVERY SO THAT ONCE I AM DONE WITH MY CLEARANCE HERE I WILL PROCEED TO YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT BELLOW ARE THE INFO I WANT YOU TO RECONFIRM TO ME NOW.
THE NAME OF YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT
YOUR PHONE NUMBER
AND YOUR NEXT OF KIN
I WILL GET BACK TO YOU ONCE I AM DONE WITH MY CLEARANCE
BEST REGARDS YOURS DIPLOMATIC AGENT williams Benson
Phone Number: (781) 281-9133)