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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Mr Peter Thomson" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:28:04 -0800
Subject: ATTN: CONTACT HIM IMMEDIATELY
Customers Service Hours--Monday to Saturday:
Office Hours Monday to Saturday:
I have open an account for you and deposited the fund with Savoy Bank New York in United States of America, I traveled out of the country for a 6 Months Course and I will not be back until completion of my 6 months course. What you have to do now is to contact the Chief Financial Officer(CFO) immediately for your account information and further Instruction.
You have to contact the Chief Financial Officer now for your Bank account information with this information below:
Contact Name: Mr Gonzalo Ayala
Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer
Savoy Bank New York
Email Address: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reconfirm the below information to the agent:
1. Full Names:
2. Residential Address:
3. Phone Number:
Let me repeat again, try to contact him immediately you receive this mail to avoid any further delay and remember to funish him with the needed information above.
Mr Peter Thomson
United Nations General Assembly/Heads